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Harry Spence

commissioner, Department Social Services

Harry Spence is Lecturer on Education. He served from December 2001 until June 2007 as Commissioner of the Massachusetts Department of Social Services, where he was responsible for the Commonwealth's child welfare program, supervising 3,400 employees, with an annual budget of $750 million. He developed the "next generation" child welfare practice model, which involved the teaming of social workers, a national innovation that won the Kennedy School Innovations in Government Award in 2006. He served from 1995 to 2000 as the Deputy Chancellor for Operations for the New York City Board of Education, and from 1991 to 1995 in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts Executive Office of Administration and Finance as the Receiver for the City of Chelsea, where his responsibilities included the rebuilding of the city school system and enactment of municipal charter reform. He has provided consulting services to major national organizations with a focus on education and held a Lecturer appointment at the Kennedy School of Government from 1988 to 1991. Mr. Spence holds a JD from Harvard Law School (1974).