2019 MWPC



Carolyn Assa

Carolyn Assa is an award-winning broadcast journalist, former network television executive, and marketing consultant with thirty years of experience telling stories from newsrooms, boardrooms, and classrooms. She is a results-driven strategist who has led high-profile branding initiatives at well-known education institutions including Perkins School for the Blind, and Bunker Hill Community College.


An industry thought leader, Ms. Assa launched the public service campaigns - A Better Community for ABC Television; and, iCanConnect for the Federal Communications Commission. As a public relations expert, she has pitched stories for clients in government, technology, health, finance, and business. Recently, she oversaw transition communications for the new Mayor of Framingham, Yvonne Spicer. Currently, she is the Director of External Relations at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. 


Ms. Assa holds a Master’s degree in Communications from Emerson College in Boston and a Bachelor's degree in Journalism from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. Her executive education includes: participation in the Women’s Leadership Forum at the Harvard Business School; and, graduation from the Community College Leadership Academy at the UMass Boston.

Eshita Chakrabarti

Eshita Chakrabarti has been a global advocate for the civil rights of women and children. She represents women of diverse cultures and supports social issues centered around mainstream America. Immigrating from India in her early twenties, she now hosts, produces and directs Faces of South Asia, a television program on Access Television in Quincy, Mass., with a focus on human trafficking, child marriage, domestic violence, opioid abuse, gender equality, LGBTQ and LGBTQ senior issues, postpartum depression and mental health, educating to men regarding abuse towards women and pre- teen and teen violence and issues regarding rape and recovery.


Using her own diverse experiences, Eshita has developed time to assisting vocationally inexperienced women with assimilating into modern American culture. She is also a global political fundraiser for the progress of women and children. She has fundraised for Akshaya Patra USA, the world’s largest non-profit organization providing mid-day meals to 1.6 million children, is an advocate for DOVE, an organization devoted to end domestic violence and Saheli an organization dedicated to the empowerment of South Asian women and their families. Eshita is also an associate to Friends of Shelter, an organization that works to build toilets, stopping open defecation and protecting women from sexual abuse. She is a graduate of Jamshedpur Women’s College and has a Bachelors in Economics. Eshita resides in Canton Massachusetts with her husband Dr. Aniket Chakrabarti and is the mother of two daughters.

Susan Coakley

Susan Coakley is the President of the Boston Medical Center HealthNet Plan. She first joined Boston Medical Center HealthNet Plan (BMCHP) in 2007 as Chief Legal Officer and became President of the organization in 2014. Under Ms. Coakley’s leadership, BMCHP plays a significant role in government health programs in Massachusetts and New Hampshire, including the MassHealth Accountable Care Organization (ACO) program in collaboration with the BMC Health System, the MassHealth Managed Care Organization (MCO) program, the Massachusetts Health Connector Qualified Health Plan (QHP) ConnectorCare program, the MassHealth Senior Care Options (SCO) program, and the New Hampshire Medicaid Care Management (MCM) program. Across the two states, Boston Medical Center HealthNet Plan and Well Sense Health Plan serve over 400,000 low- or moderate- income members.


Since Ms. Coakley has served as President, Boston Medical Center HealthNet Plan was named a Healthiest Employer by the Boston Business Journal, and Well Sense Health Plan has been recognized as a Best Company to Work for by Business NH Magazine for the past two years.


Prior to joining Boston Medical Center HealthNet Plan, Ms. Coakley served as Senior Associate General Counsel for Harvard Pilgrim Health Care, Inc. in Wellesley, MA. A graduate of Connecticut College, Ms. 5 Coakley received a Master’s of Public Health from Yale School of Public Health and a Juris Doctor from Northeastern University School of Law.

Amy F. Diamond

Amy F. Diamond is a senior executive with extensive knowledge and management experience in three key business sectors - finance, energy development and strategic advisory, both domestic and international. She has worked for more than thirty years within a corporate environment as well as managing her own private business enterprises She has a successful track record of identifying early energy market trends, creating an investment vehicle to capture this “first mover” advantage and affording its targeted investors the ability to secure additional investment premium. Earlier in her career, she held senior positions at Triumph Securities, Lazard Freres and ABC News among others. Ms. Diamond serves on the board of the Massachusetts Women’s Political Caucus, is Co-Chairman of the MWPC Political Action Committee and founded the Western Massachusetts MWPC (MWPC Berkshires) in 2017. She has a BA in Psychology from New York University and an MBA in Finance from New York University Graduate School of Business.

Charlotte Golar Richie

Charlotte Golar Richie, a former state legislator, is an experienced leader and administrator with a background in public service and political activism, and a deeply held commitment to civil rights, fairness and equality. As a former Commissioner for the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination (MCAD), she successfully handled hundreds of discrimination complaints at that state civil rights enforcement agency. A trained mediator, Charlotte facilitated dozens of conciliations at the MCAD to help settle disputes; and she led the agency’s efforts to develop a robust language access program to better serve limited English proficient individuals.


Prior to her tenure at the MCAD, Charlotte served as a Senior Vice President for Public Policy, Advocacy & Government Relations for YouthBuild USA, and oversaw its national campaign to protect federal funding for over 250 programs that connect young people to jobs and education. As Boston’s Housing Chief & Director of the Department of Neighborhood Development from 1999 to 2007, she spearheaded a citywide campaign to create and preserve thousands of affordable homes and apartments, to revitalize neighborhood commercial districts, and strengthen and expand the award-winning Main Streets program. As a state representative, and House Chair for the Legislature’s Joint Committee on Housing & Urban Development, Charlotte championed and secured passage of a $296 million bond bill to aid cities and towns in the construction and preservation of affordable housing in the Commonwealth.


Charlotte made history in Boston, in 2013, as the city’s first African-American woman to run for mayor, garnering enough votes in a 12-person field to land a third-place primary election finish. She has continued to direct her community activism toward nonprofit and philanthropic board service, as a member of the Board of Directors for the national nonprofit YouthBuild USA, and for Tuft’s Health Plan Foundation, where she helps to promote age-friendly communities.


She also serves as Vice Chair for the Board of Directors for Boston’s Higher Ground, a community-based nonprofit, which connects residents in under-resourced neighborhoods to needed services and programs; as Advisory Board Member for Mothers for Justice and Equality (MJE), a grassroots organization that seeks to raise awareness about and bring an end to neighborhood violence; and as Vice Chair for the Advisory Board for the Center for Women in Politics & Public Policy (CWPPP) at the University of Massachusetts, Boston, where she works to advance opportunities for women’s leadership and involvement in government, politics and policy-making.


A graduate of Rutgers University (B.A.), Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism (M.S.) and Suffolk University’s Sawyer School of Management (M.B.A.), Charlotte and her husband Winston Richie are longtime residents of Dorchester and former US Peace Corps Volunteers; and they are the proud parents of adult daughters Leigh and Kara, who are working to effect positive change in their own communities.

Gail Jackson Blount

Gail is the President of Jackson Communications, a public relations, marketing & communications consultancy where she provides strategic communications programs, business development, fundraising and events for public and private companies and non-profit organizations - including the American Red Cross, Avon Corporation, Partners HealthCare, Pfizer, Catalyst Ventures LLC, BCEC, Kage Growth Strategies & Millennium Partners, and major sports teams.


Throughout her career, Gail has counseled executives while leading campaigns and teams to address global communications and crisis issues.  Her executive experience includes serving as Chief Outreach Strategist for Martha Coakley's US Senate Campaign, as Senior Director of the United Way of Massachusetts Bay and Merrimack Valley, as Executive Director for Outreach and Political Affairs of the 2004 Democratic National Convention Committee (DNCC) leading state-wide and regional political and community outreach, Director of the Ad Club Foundation where she worked with CEO's and senior leaders to develop programs to increase diversity in New England's Advertising and Communications Industry, as Executive Director of Communications at Roxbury Community College, Public Information Director at Action for Boston Community Development, Inc., the nation's largest and oldest anti-poverty agency, Marketing Manager at the Massachusetts Department of Public Health, the Boston Redevelopment Authority, and as global Communications Consultant for Wang Laboratories, Inc.


She began her career in radio broadcasting as a pubic affairs talk show host, and is a frequent speaker about women in politics and leadership.  She also serves on the Board of Directors for the ALCU of Massachusetts and is a member of its Nominating Committee.  


A staunch supporter of programs benefiting women and young girls, Gail has served on the boards of the YWCA, Girl's Golf Program of New England, the Young Black Women’s Society of Massachusetts, Boston Center for the Arts, Harvard Health Center, YMCA, and on the President’s Council for the Urban College of Boston.  Gail is the recipient of several awards including GK's 100 Most Influential People in Boston, the 4A's for Diversity Leadership and a 2018 Leading Women's Award by the International Multi-cultural Symposium Series.

Deloris Pettis

Deloris Pettis is a C suite executive with broad experience in audit, general management and risk management across the public and private sectors and in higher education. She is currently serves as CFO for Quality Interactions, a leading provider of health care cultural competency training. Deloris previously served as the VP for Enterprise Risk Management at Northeastern University where she was responsible for the implementation of an institution-wide enterprise risk management program. Her work led to the effective incorporation of risk analysis with university strategy and stronger governance practices.

Earlier Deloris served for thirteen years in roles of increasing responsibility at Harvard University. As Director of Risk Management and Audit Services where she chaired Harvard’s international projects committee. As Associate Vice President for Sponsored Programs Administration, Deloris was accountable for a portfolio of over $600MM of federally sponsored awards; and as Director of the $70 million PEPFAR (AIDS) program transition initiative at the School of Public Health.

Deloris, held audit leadership positions at Digital Equipment Corporation, the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority and Barone & Associates; and held financial and compliance roles at the Bank of Boston. Deloris began her career in public accounting at KPMG.

Deloris earned her MBA in accounting from Tulane University and has a BSc in Political Science from the State University of New York at Buffalo. She is a Certified Internal Auditor (CIA), a Certified Public Accountant (inactive) and has a Certification in Risk Management Assurance (CRMA).

Deloris is a member of the Institute of Internal Auditors and Society of Corporate Compliance and Ethics. In addition, Deloris serves on the Board of Directors of OneUnited Bank and as Audit Committee Chair; Board of Directors of Boston Urban League and as a member of the Finance Committee, President of Newton Chapter Jack and Jill and a former Town Meeting Member in Framingham.

Miriam Posner

Miriam Posner serves as the Director of Energy & Environmental Policy at A Better City, a business membership association representing the business and institutional community of Greater Boston. She leads the organization’s energy and environmental policy efforts. She developed strategic and impactful legislative and research agendas, focused on mitigation of the progression of and adaption to the effects of climate change, as well as the promotion of energy reliability. Miriam collaborates with state and local officials, public-sector staff, and other stakeholders to execute upon those identified priorities.


Further, she manages A Better City’s collaborative renewable power procurement work, which recently resulted in the landmark 60MW solar purchase jointly between MIT, the Boston Medical Center, and The Friends of Post Office Square. For two years, while in graduate school at the University of Pennsylvania, Miriam worked at the Kleinman Center for Energy Policy. Additionally, she spent a summer interning in the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy’s Energy and Environment division, where she helped implement the Obama Administration’s policies and initiatives.


Prior to that, Miriam spent four years supporting the U.S. Department of Energy, working on resilience, infrastructure security, and energy restoration activities, including working as an emergency responder during Hurricane Sandy. Miriam holds a Master of Public Administration degree and a Certificate in Energy Management and Policy from the University of Pennsylvania where she was the recipient of the Institutional Service and Leadership Award. She earned a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and Public Policy with honors from Case Western Reserve University.

​Monica Sawhney

Monica Sawhney is the Deputy Chief of Staff for MassHealth, the Commonwealth's Medicaid agency. She was previously the Policy Manager at the Massachusetts Health Safety Net Office. Prior to working for the state, Monica worked at Steward Health Care, focusing on clinical integration and care management initiatives. She also spent a number of years in the non-profit sector, working with Health Leads, an organization that strives to bridge the gap between health care and social services. Monica is a graduate of Boston University and the Boston University School of Public Health. She currently resides in Cambridge.

Dawne Shand

Dawne Shand grew up in Alabama’s Black Belt and attended Selma’s public schools during their first two decades of integration. Since then, she has lived and worked in Nice, London, and Boston. Her writing has appeared in The Kenyon Review, Southern Cultures and The Georgia Review.


Shand began her career in the first management consulting firm to go public on NASDAQ--Renaissance Solutions. She holds an MFA from Emerson College, a Master’s in International Studies from the European Institute in Nice, France; and a BA in economics and French from the University of Alabama, where she was the University's Fulbright nominee and recipient of the Rotary International Ambassadorial Scholarship.


Currently, she lives in Newburyport, MA with her husband and daughter. Since 2017, she has led the initiative to get more women elected to office, an effort that culminated in October 2018 with the official launch of the Greater Newburyport Committee of the MWPC.

Mary Usovicz

Mary Usovicz created MU Connections to assist companies with siting energy projects particularly in New England. Mary has over 20 years with siting energy projects particularly dealing with stakeholder outreach and communications. Recently, Mary was a part of the team that successfully secured PPA for hydro for Commonwealth of MA 83D project. Prior to MU Connections, Mary was Senior VP at TRC creating the LNG team and successfully obtained the permits for the Connecticut Natural Gas LNG facility upgrade and regasification. Before TRC, Mary was VP of marketing and external affairs for OSCOMP overseeing all of the siting permitting and construction of CNG stations in Maine and end user sites in New England.


Mary has had over 20 years’ experience in the energy sector. She was employed by Repsol for 7 years overseeing the siting, construction and market development of the Repsol Canaport LNG facility. In addition, Mary has worked as Director of Community Relations for Tennessee Gas Pipeline for ten years in their Boston office. Mary was responsible for customer outreach as well as government relations for all of the major pipeline construction projects in New England. She brings a wealth of information in understanding to the natural gas and power generators customer’s needs as well as the political landscape of the region.


Mary has over 25 years’ experience working in the public, regulatory media and government relations. She has also worked for Governors of Massachusetts and New Jersey as well as Director of Community Relations for Massachusetts Water Resources Authority. Ms. Usovicz holds a BA in political science and economics from American University as well as an MBA from Suffolk University with a concentration in Marketing. She is also the former first lady for the City of Salem, MA during her husband, Stan’s, eight-year term. Mary lives and works in New England with her two children Stash and Motoria.

Raquel J. Webster

Raquel Webster is Senior Counsel in the regulatory group at National Grid, where she represents the company in regulatory proceedings in Rhode Island and advises clients regarding regulatory compliance and strategy on a wide range of statewide energy policy initiatives.

Prior to working at National Grid, Raquel was a litigation attorney at the City of Boston Law Department, where she represented the city in state and federal court and before administrative agencies in all stages of litigation involving civil rights, employment, and tort law.
Raquel also spent seven years as a litigator at a large law firm in Boston. Raquel is a former fellow of the Boston Bar Association’s (BBA) Public Interest Leadership Program, and currently serves on the BBA’s Subcommittee for the Community Reentry Readiness Program, collaboration between the BBA and the Federal District Court of Massachusetts, which focuses on providing educational training programs for federal probationers on a wide variety of topics. She is also a member of the board of trustees for the following organizations: Boston Bar Association (BBA Council), Massachusetts Women’s Bar Association, Boston Preparatory Public Charter School, and the Northeastern University School of Law Alumni/ae Association. She is an appointed attorney disciplinary hearing officer for the Boston Board of Bar Overseers and an appointed member of the City of Boston Women’s Workforce Council. Raquel is the proud mother of two boys. In her spare time, she enjoys attending her sons’ track meets, football, and basketball games. She also enjoys traveling and singing gospel music with her church choir. 

Please reload