Senator Harriette L. Chandler

Senator Harriette L. Chandler (D-Worcester) is currently the Massachusetts Senate President Emerita, and previously served as the Senate President from December 2017 to July 2018. She is the chair of the Senate Committee on Steering and Policy, vice chair of the Joint Committee on Higher Education, and also serves as Co-Chair of the Prevention for Health Caucus and Co-Chair of the Legislature’s Oral Health Caucus.
 
She began her political career when she was elected to the Worcester School Committee in 1991. She served on the Worcester School Committee from 1991-1994, three terms in the Massachusetts House of Representatives from 1995-2001, and became the first Worcester woman to be elected to the Massachusetts State Senate when she was elected in November of 2000.
 
She is currently in her ninth two-year term in the Senate. She has moved up through leadership positions in the Senate, starting out as Assistant Majority Whip and then becoming Majority Whip, Assistant Majority Leader, Majority Leader, and Senate President. She was the second woman in Massachusetts history to serve as Assistant Majority Leader, the second woman in Massachusetts history to serve as Majority Leader, and second female Senate President.
 
Throughout her career in the Massachusetts Legislature, she has served in numerous Committees:
Vice-Chair of the Special Senate Committee on Housing
Member of the Senate Committee on Ethics, Senate Committee on Rules, Joint Committee on Rules, Joint Committee on Housing, and Special Senate Committee on Marijuana
Vice-Chair of the Senate Committee on Steering and Policy
Senate Chair of the Joint Committee on Housing
Senate Vice-Chair of the Joint Committee on Public Health
Assistant Vice-Chair of the Senate Committee on Ways and Means
Senate Vice-Chair of the Joint Committee on Federal Stimulus Oversight
Senate Vice-Chair of the Joint Committee on Veterans and Federal Affairs
House Chair of the Joint Committee on Health Care
 
Legislative Caucuses:
Co-Chair of the Regional Transit Authority (RTA) Legislative Caucus
Co-Chair of the Central Massachusetts Caucus
Co-Chair of the Caucus of Women Legislators
Legislature’s Tobacco Control Caucus.
 
She is actively involved outside of the State House as well, serving as a Co-Chair of the Reforming States Group Steering Committee of Milbank Memorial Fund, which represents members of the legislative and executive branches of state governments and focuses on health care reform. She is also the President of the 2017-2018 Executive Board of the Women’s Legislative Network of the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL), a State Director of Women in Government, and corporator of the YWCA, Worcester Art Museum, and Greater Worcester Foundation. She is a member of the United Way of Central Massachusetts, Worcester Women’s History Project, Worcester Democratic City Committee and the Massachusetts Democratic State Committee.
 
She currently represents the City of Worcester (wards 1-4, inclusive; ward 8, precincts 2-4; and wards 9 and 10), and the towns of: Boylston, Clinton (precincts 3 and 4), Holden, Northborough (precincts 1, 2, and 4), Princeton, and West Boylston.
 
Senator Chandler earned degrees from Wellesley College (B.A.), Simmons College Graduate School of Management (M.B.A.), and Clark University (Ph.D.). She holds honorary degrees from Worcester State College, Honorary Doctorate of Public Administration ’88 and Clark University, Honorary Doctor of Laws ’16. She is married to Worcester attorney Burton Chandler and has three grown children and four grandchildren.