Secretary Pollack (left) at the opening of the Hadley Overpass in 2015
|Massachusetts Transportation Secretary and MassDOT CEO|
|Assumed office |
|Preceded by||Richard A. Davey|
|Born||East Hanover, New Jersey|
|Alma mater||Massachusetts Institute of Technology|
Harvard Law School
Stephanie Pollack is an American public servant who heads the Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT). Pollack previously worked for the Conservation Law Foundation (CLF), the Greater Boston Institute, BlueWave Strategies, and Northeastern University before starting her position at MassDOT. Pollack was the first female secretary of transportation in Massachusetts.
In 1982, Pollack received a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering and a Bachelor of Science in Public Policy from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. She graduated magna cum laude with a Juris Doctorate from Harvard Law School in 1985.
Pollack began work with the Conservation Law Foundation as a sophomore at MIT, doing policy research on coal-fired power plants. Pollack continued to work at the CLF after graduating from Harvard, rising to senior VP and acting president before departing in 2006. She also worked as a senior strategy consultant for groups including the Boston Transportation Department and Massport. When the Commonwealth of Massachusetts negotiated Big Dig mitigation with Pollack and ultimately claimed they could not afford her proposals, Pollack stated "They can't just say, 'We're broke.'"
In 2004 Pollack took a position at Northeastern University as a Senior Research Associate and Senior Director at the Center for Urban and Regional Policy and an adjunct professor for the Northeastern University School of Law. During this time Pollack also served on the board of the Newton Transportation Advisory Committee and the MassDOT Transportation Advisory Committee.
In January 2015, Pollack was chosen by Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker to lead the Massachusetts Department of Transportation. Pollack described her appointment as surprising, given fundamentally different policy views between Baker, a lifelong Republican, and her own liberal views as a Democrat.
Pollack received criticism for lapses at MassDOT's Registry of Motor Vehicles that led to a crash that killed seven people in 2019. A year later, Pollack acknowledged responsibility for the scandal and pledged to fix the issues.
Pollack met her husband Kenneth Snow while at MIT. She has three children, all of whom are studying engineering. Pollack has lived in Newton, Massachusetts, for over 20 years and is a strong advocate of car free transportation. Pollack is an observant Orthodox Jew. Pollack has been a Democrat since she first registered to vote at age 18.
- Dunn, Peter. "Stephanie Pollack '82". MIT Technology Review. Retrieved June 6, 2020.
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- Aloisi, James (January 13, 2015). "Pollack is solid and stunning choice". CommonWealth Magazine. Retrieved June 16, 2020.
Stephanie will be the Commonwealth’s first female secretary of transportation and, while several women have held high positions within the secretariat, having a woman at the top of the organization will bring its own refreshing change to a massive agency that touches nearly everyone’s lives.
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- "RMV scandal: What we know about the failures within the registry before New Hampshire crash that killed 7". masslive. August 4, 2019. Retrieved August 24, 2020.
- "Rep. William Straus On Baker Administration's Claims About The RMV: 'The Information Was In Front Of Them'". News. December 5, 2019. Retrieved August 24, 2020.
- "'Morally, do I feel responsible... Yes.' - The Boston Globe". BostonGlobe.com.
- Gotsis, Chloe. "Newton person of the week: Stephanie Pollack". Wicked Local. Retrieved June 6, 2020.