About Mary Jo Bane


Mary Jo Bane is the Thornton Bradshaw Professor of Public Policy and Management, Academic Dean, and Chair of the Management and Leadership area at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. From 1993–96, she served as the Assistant Secretary for Children and Families at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services but resigned from the administration in 1996 after President Clinton signed the 1996 welfare reform law. From 1992–93 she was Commissioner of the New York State Department of Social Services, where she also formerly served as Executive Deputy Commissioner from 1984–86. In 1980-1981, Dr. Bane was Deputy Assistant Secretary for Program Planning and Budget Analysis at the United States Department of Education. From 1987–92, at the Kennedy School, she was Malcolm Wiener Professor of Social Policy and Director of the Malcolm Wiener Center for Social Policy. She has also held positions at Wellesley College as well as the University of Massachusetts.

Dr. Bane received her bachelor’s in International Relations from the Georgetown School of Foreign Relations and her Master’s and Doctorate from the Harvard Graduate School of Education. She is the author of numerous books and articles on poverty, welfare, and families. Dr. Bane’s most recent books include Taking Faith Seriously (Harvard University Press 2006) and Lifting up the Poor: a Dialogue on Religion, Poverty and Welfare Reform, written with Lawrence W. Mead (Brookings Institution Press 2003). She is currently researching American poverty and its international context.

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