Ann Bookman, a leading researcher and social policy expert on women’s issues, work-family balance and community engagement, served as the director of the Center for Women in Politics and Public Policy at the McCormack Graduate School of Policy and Global Studies until 2018. She’s now an affiliated faculty member of the McCormack Graduate School.
Bookman came to UMass Boston with three decades of experience in academia and government. She has directed several university-based research centers, including the MIT Workplace Center at the Sloan School of Management, where she oversaw research on redesigning the workplace to ensure gender equity and family support, including child care and elder care.
She was also appointed by President Bill Clinton as policy and research director of the Women’s Bureau at the U.S. Department of Labor. In that post, Bookman was executive director of a bipartisan commission that studied the impact of the Family and Medical Leave Act on workers and employers. She was principal author of the commission’s report to Congress, “A Workable Balance.”
From 2009-2013, Bookman was a senior research scientist with the Heller School for Social Policy and Management at Brandeis University, and also worked as an associate at its Center for Youth and Communities. At Heller she conducted research on healthy aging, innovative models for building aging-friendly communities, communities and food insecurity among African American and Latino elders in Boston, the majority of whom are women She also led evaluation research projects funded by the AARP Foundation and the Washington Area Women’s Foundation.
Her first co-edited book, Women and the Politics of Empowerment (1988), highlighted the political leadership of poor and working class women from diverse racial and ethnic backgrounds. Her latest book, Starting in our Own Backyards: How Working Families Can Build Community And Survive The New Economy (2004), has been cited as “paradigm-shifting” for bringing community organizations and community engagement into the debate on the changing role of women in the workplace and the family.