Massachusetts Caucus of Women Legislators Board of Directors
Cindy F. Friedman was elected to the Massachusetts Senate on July 25, 2017. She represents the Fourth Middlesex District, which includes Arlington, Billerica, Burlington, Woburn, and precincts 1-2 and 4-7 of Lexington. Prior to becoming a state Senator, Cindy worked as a public school teacher, an executive in the high-tech industry and later served for nearly a decade as chief of staff to the late Senator Ken Donnelly. Currently, she serves as Senate Chair of the Joint Committee on Health Care Financing, Vice Chair of the Senate Committee on Ways and Means, as well as many other committees, caucuses and working groups.
Since her election, Cindy has quickly distinguished herself as a thoughtful and policy-oriented member of the Senate. During her first year in office, she worked tirelessly to promote important policy initiatives for her district and the Commonwealth. Most notably, Cindy played an instrumental role in crafting and passing legislation to: combat the opioid and mental health crisis and ensure greater access to treatment, raise the minimum wage to $15 per hour, reform our pretrial bail system, and direct additional funding toward workforce pipeline training.
Public activism has been a passion for Cindy ever since she first marched to protect women’s reproductive rights in the 1970s. Fifteen years later, she worked with Planned Parenthood to defeat the 1986 referendum that would have allowed Massachusetts to regulate a woman’s right to choose. By 1980, Cindy had moved to Arlington and established deep roots in the community. During this time, Cindy co-founded the Arlington Education Foundation, and her three children and two grandchildren attended Arlington Public Schools. As her passion for civic engagement continued to grow, Cindy became a Town Meeting member, founded Schools are a Priority in Our Town (SPOT) and became chair of the Arlington No Place for Hate Committee.
She holds a bachelor’s degree in education from Roger Williams University and a master’s degree in special education from Lesley University. She currently lives in Arlington Center with her husband of 37 years, John Page.
Elected to the House of Representatives in 1998, Liz Malia represents the 11th Suffolk District. Serving a district that consists of parts of Jamaica Plain, Roxbury, Dorchester and Roslindale, Representative Malia has dedicated her tenure to constituent services and improving the quality of life for residents in her district.
She has worked extensively on public safety issues, improving community relations with the police, worked to promote independence and well-being of the elderly and worked to ensure transparent and inclusive community development processes.
In the legislature, she serves as the Assistant Vice Chair of the Committee on Ways and Means. She also serves on Joint Committee on Labor and Workforce Development and as the House Chair of the Women’s Legislative Caucus (191st General Court).
As the former House Chair of the Joint Committee on Mental Health, Substance Use, and Recovery for more than a decade, Representative Malia led efforts to improve access to mental health and substance abuse services, especially in communities of color. She received the Presidential Award by the Massachusetts Psychiatric Society and the Kathleen M. Scanlan Advocacy Award by the Massachusetts Council on Compulsive Gambling for her commitment to mental health issues.
In addition, Representative Malia led the legislative efforts against human trafficking and has championed such issues as marriage equality, CORI reform, foreclosure legislation, affordable housing, immigrants’ rights, women’s health issues and many others.
Born in upstate New York, Liz Malia earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from Boston College and later attended the Women in Politics and Government program at UMass. She lives in Jamaica Plain with her wife Rita and their dog, Bobo.
Senator Gobi was born and raised in Spencer and still lives there today. She attended David Prouty High School and studied at Worcester State College. She began work as a teacher at Leicester High School, while attending Massachusetts School of Law in pursuit of her Law Degree.
A member of the Spencer Democratic Town Committee since 1998, she was elected to serve as the State Representative for the 5th Worcester District. She was a member of the Massachusetts House of Representatives for 14 years, serving on multiple committees including the Joint Committee on Environment, Natural Resources and Agriculture, of which she was co-Chair.
Anne was elected as State Senator in 2014 and has continued her work for the entire Worcester, Hampden, Hampshire and Middlesex district.
For the last several years Sen. Gobi has ridden in the Pan-Mass Challenge and regularly contributes to various charities and charitable organizations.
Linda Dean Campbell was elected to represent the 15th Essex District (Methuen and Haverhill) in 2006 and currently serves as House Chair of the Joint Committee on Veterans and Federal Affairs.
Linda’s public service began with ROTC at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst, where she was appointed as the University’s first woman Army ROTC commander. Linda went on to serve in the Army and was stationed in Germany for six years at the battalion and corps level. She then received advanced training and served as a paratrooper and Intelligence Officer with the 525th Military Intelligence Brigade (Airborne) in Fort Bragg, NC.
While serving in Germany, Linda met and married Donald (now a retired Army Lieutenant Colonel). After more than eight years of active duty service, Linda left the Army to start a family and began to teach part-time at the undergraduate and high school levels before her husband was deployed to the Persian Gulf for Desert Storm. Linda returned to her home in Methuen during Donald’s deployment and is forever grateful for the support she received from both her family and community at this time.
Linda first became involved with politics as an environmental activist who represented the City of Methuen in a two-year successful fight to prevent the construction of a massive gas/coal-fired electrical generation plant along the Merrimack River. As a result of this successful endeavor, she was encouraged to run for City Council, where she served with distinction for six years. Likewise, she was encouraged by her community to run for State Representative when the seat opened up, and she has been serving proudly ever since.
Elected to the House of Representatives in the fall of 2008, Carolyn Dykema represents the 8th Middlesex District of the Metrowest region and includes the towns of Holliston, Hopkinton, Southborough and precinct 2 of Westborough.
Prior to entering the legislature, Representative Dykema worked professionally in the fields of financial services and environmental consulting. Since 1999 she has served on local boards and committees including serving on the Holliston Sewer Action Committee, as Chair of the Holliston Planning Board, Executive Committee member of the Metropolitan Area Planning Council and a Steering Committee Member of the SuAsCo Watershed Community Council. In 2007, she was appointed by the Governor to the Massachusetts Energy Facilities Siting Board.
Since joining the legislature, Rep. Dykema has worked tirelessly to support the communities she represents, focusing on issues related to small business, healthcare, water infrastructure, local agriculture and veterans.
A fourth-generation Massachusetts resident, Rep. Dykema is a graduate of Wellesley College and holds an MBA from Indiana University. She was raised in Massachusetts and now lives in Holliston with her husband Bill and their three children David, Julia and Andrew who attend the Holliston Public Schools.
Colleen Garry is an attorney and representative of the 36th Middlesex district. Garry has a special dedication with the Commonwealth as she was born and raised in Massachusetts. She received her B.S. and J.D in Massachusetts from University of Lowell and Suffolk Law School respectively. Garry has been in office since 1995 and remains committed to faithfully serving her constituents in Dracut and Tyngsborough. She also has her own office in Dracut where she translates her passion for children into practicing family law. Outside of work Colleen enjoys yoga and attending local events.
Hannah Kane (R – Shrewsbury) serves as the State Representative for the Eleventh Worcester District, representing the towns of Shrewsbury and Westborough, precincts 4 and 5.
Hannah graduated from Boston University’s School of Management in 1993. Hannah has significant experience in both the public and private sectors, beginning her career working at Unum Insurance Company before being recruited by Lt. Governor Paul Cellucci to work in the Weld/Cellucci Administration on the redevelopment of the former 4,400 acre Fort Devens Army Base and on the merger of 2 quasi-public state agencies into the economic development authority MassDevelopment. Hannah served as Director of Marketing and Product Development, helping generate over a billion dollars in economic development across the Commonwealth. Hannah returned to the private sector as Vice President of Marketing Services for a consulting firm, developing and implementing business growth and marketing strategies for clients including Lucent Technologies and Avaya, St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital, Grubb & Ellis and Pebble Beach Golf. Hannah co-owned and was managing partner of Beaton Kane Construction 2010-2015.
Hannah is deeply committed to public service. Hannah serves as an elected Town Meeting Member for 14-years, a member of the Shrewsbury Finance Committee, President of the Shrewsbury Public Schools Foundation, President of the Floral Street School PTO and parent member of the Oak Middle School Council. Hannah is also a member of the Shrewsbury Coalition for Addiction Prevention and Education and a Board member for Shrewsbury Youth and Family Services (SYFS), and hosts a charity golf tournament benefitting SYFS, St, Annes’ Human Services and Westborough Food Pantry. Hannah is a Trustee for the Seven Hills Foundation and serves on the Board and Executive Committee for Andover Newton Theological School in Newton, MA. Hannah is past President of the Shrewsbury Development Corporation.
Hannah serves as a member of the Joint Committee on Public Health, Joint Committee on Transportation, House Committee on Personnel and Administration, and the House Committee on Redistricting. Hannah is an advisory board member of the 495/MetroWest Partnership, a member of the Central MA Opioid Task Force and a State Director for the national Women in Government Foundation where she is a member of the Mental Health and Substance Abuse Task Force.
Hannah and her husband Jim have lived in Shrewsbury for nineteen years and have 3 children, Madison, Caitlin and Patrick, in the Shrewsbury Public Schools.
Tram Nguyen is the State Representative for the 18th Essex District, which includes parts of Andover, Boxford, North Andover, and Tewksbury. She is a first generation Vietnamese-American immigrant and was the first person in her family to attend college and law school. She earned a Bachelor's Degree from Tufts University and a Juris Doctor from Northeastern University School of Law. From the start of her legal career until she took office, Nguyen worked at Greater Boston Legal Services as a legal aid attorney and advocated for domestic violence survivors, workers, seniors, veterans, and children. She also engaged in legislative advocacy and worked with statewide coalitions, lawmakers, and lawmaking bodies to push for laws that address issues of racial and economic justice and protect the rights of the most vulnerable populations. Nguyen was recently elected into office in November 2018 and is the first Vietnamese American woman to serve in the Massachusetts Legislature. She has received the Lawrence Bar Association Merit Award, the Vietnamese American Bar Association Public Service Award, the Reginald Heber Smith Award for innovation and excellence in legal advocacy, and the UAW Social Justice Award.
Chynah was born and raised in Roxbury where she established a special place in her heart for her community. Programs offered at facilities such as the John A. Shelburne Community Center and Roxbury Boys and Girls Club provided her with an authentic sense of pride as a Roxbury native. This pride, coupled with much prayer and support from her family, built a foundation for her to be the State Representative for the 7th Suffolk district.
Growing up, she attended Boston Public Schools and Charter Schools. Although she was a dedicated athlete, she also excelled academically and was accepted into the Crimson Summer Academy at Harvard University. Upon completion of high school and the Crimson Summer Academy, she went on to earn her Bachelor’s of Science degree in Criminal Justice with a minor in Law, Policy and Society from Northeastern University.
After graduating college, she entered her professional career as a Case Worker for Federal Inmates where she assisted those nearing release with securing employment, housing, and, most importantly, community support. While there, she realized that there are a host of barriers which contribute to recidivism. Because of that, she grew to understand the importance of the role that state government plays in delivering valuable resources to her community.
In her first experience with public service, Chynah had the pleasure of working as a Legislative Aide for a Massachusetts State Senator. In that position, she worked to secure funding for programs like Residential Assistance for Families in Transition Program (RAFT), community college reform, and environmentally-friendly organizations. Finally, Chynah has also served the community through volunteering at the Probation Department of the Roxbury Division of the Boston Municipal Court as well as working full time as a professional while raising a child.
Today, Chynah seeks to effectively create new policies and adjust existing ones in efforts to further enrich her community. She looks forward to advancing the legacy of her district as its State Representative.
Jo has lived and worked in western Massachusetts since the late 1990s, arriving fresh out of New York City’s Hunter College School of Social Work where she focused on homelessness policy, prison reform, and earned an MSW.
In the region, Jo led a crisis intervention outreach team through the Center for Human Development focused on creating a high-impact team capable of addressing the myriad and often intersecting root causes of crisis. She then organized for seven years as the director of the western Massachusetts American Friends Service Committee, moving to direct the programs of The Food Bank of Western Massachusetts where she worked to meet the immediate demands of hunger and launched a pilot program to reduce food insecurity in the region. After The Food Bank, Jo led National Priorities Project, a national budget and tax priorities research organization, as its executive director. NPP garnered a Nobel Peace Prize nomination in Jo’s final year. After NPP, Jo was a Campaign Director for MoveOn focusing on a range of issues from gun safety to health care.
Jo’s wife, Ann, is a public school teacher and member of the Northampton School Committee. Jo and Ann have two children. They live in Northampton with their dog and two cats.
Representative Carole Fiola was elected to the House of Representatives for the 6th Bristol District which includes the northern part of Fall River and the Assonet part of Freetown on September 10, 2013. She is a graduate of the University of Massachusetts, Amherst.
Prior to being elected, Representative Fiola has been a Realtor and also served from 2001 – 2011 as an elected member of the Governor's Council. Representative Fiola was one of 8 council members who provided advice and consent for judical, clerk magistrate, appellate tax board and other appointees nominated by the Governor.
Representative Fiola serves on the boards of Steppingstone Inc., the Community Foundation of Southeastern Massachusetts, the Durfee High School Athletic Foundation and has served her community on many boards throughout her career.