The Patrick-Murray Administration announced today that Julia Kehoe, Commissioner of the Department of Transitional Assistance, will assume a new role as Senior Advisor on Policy Development in the Executive Office of Health and Human Services. Kehoe will transition to this new position on November 18.
“Commissioner Kehoe has a deep commitment to public service, and it has shown in her leadership at the Department of Transitional Assistance,” said Governor Deval Patrick. “Low-income individuals and families have no more passionate advocate than Julia Kehoe, and I am thankful for her service to the people of the Commonwealth as Commissioner.”
“Commissioner Kehoe has played a vital role in our leadership team and has led the Administration’s efforts to support low-income individuals and families on their path to self-sufficiency,” said Secretary of Health and Human Services Dr. JudyAnn Bigby. “Particularly in a time when government has had to do more with less, Commissioner Kehoe’s leadership and commitment to the needs of this diverse constituency have been invaluable to our Commonwealth. I am thankful for her service as Commissioner and look forward to her joining the Executive Office of Health and Human Services.”
Kehoe has served as Commissioner of the Department of Transitional Assistance (DTA) since 2007. Under her leadership, the Department has increased the amount of Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits coming into Massachusetts by more than $70 million per month and continued to manage a caseload that has more than doubled, despite budget challenges associated with the national economic climate. DTA also made improvements to the SNAP application process by streamlining applications for elders and people with disabilities and establishing longer recertification periods; standard medical deductions; expanded categorical eligibility; and pre-filled re-certification forms. The Department has won millions of dollars in SNAP High Performance Bonus Awards from the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
Commissioner Kehoe also established the innovative DTA Works program, which provides support and job training to hundreds of cash assistance clients through internship opportunities at local DTA offices. The Department also hosted the first-ever Statewide Hunger Summit; launched satellite offices and SNAP Outreach Centers; established 16 local office Advisory Boards; and worked with the Department of Agricultural Resources to expand EBT access at Farmers’ Markets.
“Every day, the dedicated staff of the Department of Transitional Assistance make meaningful contributions to people’s lives, and I have been honored to serve as Commissioner,” Commissioner Kehoe said. “I am proud of the work we have done to assist Massachusetts’ lowest income residents meet their basic needs, increase their incomes and improve their quality of life. I thank Governor Patrick and Secretary Bigby for the opportunity to continue to serve the people of the Commonwealth and look forward to contributing more to the important work of this Administration moving forward.”
Daniel Curley Appointed as New DTA Commissioner
Governor Patrick also announced the appointment of Daniel J. Curley as the new Commissioner of the Department of Transitional Assistance. Mr. Curley currently serves as Executive Director of JRI Health, a division of Justice Resource Institute (JRI) Health, a regional human services organization that pursues social justice through providing underserved youth, adults and families with opportunities to develop skills essential for autonomy and wellbeing. These services include housing and supportive services for at-risk youth, including GLBTQ identified youth and adults. In this role, he has enhanced consumer voice and involvement at all levels of the organization, while building management capacity.
Before joining JRI in 2005, Curley served as Executive Director of Cambridge Cares about AIDS, where he instituted a model program for homeless youth that provided case management, mental health, health and dental services. Mr. Curley served as chair of the Cambridge City Public Health Board and President of HousingWorks, Inc. during the development of this national model of an affordable housing data system. Previously, he was Director of Operations for Behavioral Health Services at the Dimock Community Health Center in Roxbury.
“Dan Curley has a proven commitment to developing and implementing high-quality services for people in need,” Secretary Bigby said. “We welcome him to the Patrick-Murray Administration and look forward to the many contributions that he will make to our efforts to support low-income individuals and families during challenging times.”
“I am honored to join with DTA staff in meeting the diverse needs of the Commonwealth’s most vulnerable residents,” said Dan Curley. “The staff form one-on-one relationships with clients and provide meaningful interventions that net real outcomes for individuals and families. Together, we will continue to help support individuals and families on the road to self-sufficiency.”
Mr. Curley holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Special Education and a Master’s degree in Education, Organizational Development and Life Long Learning from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. He will assume his new role as Commissioner of the Department of Transitional Assistance on November 21.