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Ann Bookman

Director, Center for Women in Politics and Public Policy at UMass Boston

Ann Bookman, a nationally known researcher and policy expert on women’s issues, work-family balance and community engagement, is Director of the Center for Women in Politics and Public Policy at University of Massachusetts Boston.  The center, housed at the John W. McCormack Graduate School of Policy and Global Studies, works to advance women’s public leadership at all levels of government and in the non-profit sector. Through educational programs and research, the center addresses the needs of a diverse cross-section of women, particularly in the public policy making process.

Bookman has over three decades of experience working in academia and in government.  She has directed several university-based research centers, including the MIT Workplace Center at the Sloan School of Management, where she oversaw research on redesigning the workplace to ensure gender equity and family support. She was a Presidential Appointee in the first term of the Clinton administration and served as Policy and Research Director of the Women’s Bureau at the U.S. Department of Labor. Bookman was also Executive Director of a bipartisan Commission that studied the impact of the FMLA on workers and employers.  She was principal author of the commission’s report to Congress, "A Workable Balance.”

Bookman earned her PhD from Harvard University and a bachelor’s degree from Barnard College. Her first co-edited book, Women and the Politics of Empowerment (1988), was pioneering for highlighting the political leadership of poor and working class women from diverse racial and ethnic backgrounds. Her latest book, Starting In Our Own Backyards: How working families can build community and survive the new economy (2004), has been cited as “paradigm-shifting” for bringing community organizations and community engagement into the debate on the changing role of women in the workplace and the family.

Bookman lives in Boston and is a Board member of several community-based organizations in the city, including Nurtury, an innovative early care and education agency serving low-income children and their families in a number of Boston neighborhoods.