Former Massachusetts Gov. Jane Swift and Eugenia Gibbons, an expert in clean energy policy and programming, will serve as fellows for the Frederick E. Berry Institute of Politics at Salem State University for the spring 2023 semester.
As Berry Institute fellows, Swift and Gibbons will visit the campus multiple times to lead class lectures, offer students chances to gather over a meal, and coordinate workshops or additional guest speakers, according to the university. They will share their knowledge, skills and experiences with students exploring and pursuing careers in politics and public service.
“The fellowship program allows students to connect one-on-one and in small groups with leaders who have succeeded in careers of politics, law, advocacy and other forms of public service,” said Samantha Giffen, assistant director of the Berry Institute. “Many of our students are committed to making a difference in their careers, and these fellows open their eyes to the many ways in which that can be achieved.”
Swift said she was “thrilled” to be part of the program and “share with students my passion for public service and to provide them with insights, tools and advice to launch a career in politics.”
Gibbons, likewise said she was “humbled and excited to bring a climate and equity lens” to the program. “This is a unique opportunity to both share my experience with and learn from future leaders as they move through Salem State,” she said.
Swift — the first woman to perform the duties of the state’s chief executive — served as acting governor from 2001-2002 after then-Gov. Paul Cellucci was appointed as the U.S. Ambassador to Canada. Her 15 years in state government includes as lieutenant governor, secretary of consumer affairs and business regulation, and a state senator.
She is recognized as a national voice on education policy, women’s leadership and work/family integration. Since leaving public office, she’s held roles in the private sector focused on education as a CEO, an adviser to entrepreneurial education companies, a board member and committee chair for public companies, and a partner in a venture capital fund. She is an operating partner at The Vistria Group and founder of Cobble Hill Farm Education & Rescue Center.
Gibbons was a member of the Healey-Driscoll transition policy committee for climate readiness, resiliency, and adaptation and served on the Commission on Clean Heat, convened by then-Gov. Charlie Baker. She is a former member of the Global Warming Solutions Act Implementation Advisory Committee, where she co-chaired the inaugural Climate Justice Working Group that drafted principles for equitable decarbonization intended to inform development of Massachusetts’ 2050 Roadmap report.
She was previously the Massachusetts Director of Climate Policy for Health Care Without Harm where she worked with hospitals to reduce their environmental footprint and with the sector, to become an anchor for sustainability and resilience.
The Berry Institute fellowship was launched in 2022 with former Boston mayor Kim Janey and transgender rights advocate Jennifer Levi serving as inaugural fellows.