Mary Jo Bane

Mary Jo Bane is Thornton Bradshaw Professor of Public Policy and Management at Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government. She teaches and does research in the areas of public management, poverty, welfare and social policy.

Ms. Bane was Assistant Secretary for Families and Children in the federal Department of Health and Human Services from 1993 to 1996. She was also co-chair, with David Ellwood and Bruce Reed, of President Clinton's Working Group on Welfare Reform. She resigned from her position after the President signed the 1996 welfare bill.

Before going to HHS, from 1992 to 1993 Ms. Bane was the Commissioner of the New York State Department of Social Services, where she had previously been Executive Deputy Commissioner from 1984 to 1987. From 1981 to 1994, with leaves for government service, Ms. Bane was at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University, where she attained the rank of Malcolm Wiener Professor of Social Policy and was director of the Malcolm Wiener Center for Social Policy. She is the author of numerous books and articles on poverty, education, families and welfare, including Here to Stay: American Families in the Twentieth Century (1976) and with David T. Ellwood, Welfare Realities: From Rhetoric to Reform (1994). During 1999-2000, she was on sabbatical as a fellow in the Center for the Study of Values in Public Life at the Harvard Divinity School. With Brent Coffin and Ronald Thiemann, she edited Who Will Provide: The Changing Role of Religion in American Social Welfare (2000). She is the author with Lawrence Mead of Lifting Up the Poor: A Dialogue on Religion, Poverty and Welfare Reform to be published by the Brookings Institution in 2003.

In 1980-81, Ms. Bane was Deputy Assistant Secretary for Program Planning and Budget Analysis at the United States Department of Education. She has held faculty and research positions at the Harvard Graduate School of Education and at Wellesley College, as well as several other institutions. She has taught junior high and high school in Brookline and Arlington, Massachusetts, and was a Peace Corps Volunteer in Liberia, West Africa.

Ms. Bane is a graduate of the Foreign Service School of Georgetown University, and has a Master of Arts in Teaching and a Doctorate in Education from the Harvard Graduate School of Education. She lives with her husband, Kenneth Winston, in Dorchester MA and is active in her Catholic parish and in a number of professional and community organizations.


© 2005 Presidents and Fellows of Harvard
Maintained by Michael Blackmore
Updated: April 15, 2005