Harriette Chandler ’59 to Serve as Massachusetts Senate President

State Senator Harriette Chandler speaks to reporters at the statehouse on December 4, 2017
Image credit: The Boston Herald
December 13, 2017

Harriette Chandler ’59 has been elected acting president of the Massachusetts State Senate. Multiple media outlets including the Associated Press, the Boston Globe, and WBUR reported news of her election as the Senate launched an investigation into allegations of sexual assault and harassment against Bryan Hefner, the husband of former Senate President Stanley C. Rosenberg.

In 2001, Chandler became the first woman from Worcester, MA to be elected to the Massachusetts State Senate, and she served as Senate Majority Leader prior to this most recent election.

The Boston Globe reported that Chandler, who holds a PhD in international relations and an MBA in addition to her degree from Wellesley, will help the Senate move forward “with as little disruption as possible as it endures its biggest leadership crisis in recent years.”

Chandler said in a statement: “We hear the victims of these allegations. We admire their courage in coming forward. No one who serves, works or does business in the Massachusetts State House should feel unsafe, coerced, or unsupported.”

Senator Eric Lesser told the Worcester Telegram that Chandler was the right person to lead the body as they “navigate what’s really uncharted territory for the Senate.”

“She’s universally respected,” said Lesser. “She has my full faith and confidence and I know the full faith and confidence of this body as well.”