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Margaret McKenna

Chairwoman, Boston Human Rights Commission

Chairwoman McKenna is a Back Bay resident, a lawyer, and educator known as a leading expert in educational opportunity, civic engagement, and philanthropy. McKenna is President Emerita of Lesley University, where she served for 22 years. She also served as president of Suffolk University, Interim Director of the Sillerman Center, Heller School Brandeis University, and Vice President of Radcliffe, Harvard University. From 2007 to 2011, McKenna served as president of the Walmart Foundation, where she headed a $2 billion hunger campaign, women's economic initiative and a variety of initiatives to close the Education Opportunity Gap. Her government career includes roles as Deputy White House Counsel, Deputy Undersecretary of Education as well as leading the education transition team for President Clinton. She began her career as a civil rights attorney in the U.S. department of Justice and left there to become the Executive Director of IAOHRA, the national association for city and state Human Rights Commissions. In this role, she provided technical assistance and training to commissions throughout the country and represented them in coalitions with other major Civil Rights organizations. Mckenna has served as a member of the Boston School Committee and Massachusetts Board of Elementary and Secondary Education. 

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