About the Institute

The Edward M. Kennedy Institute for the United States Senate is dedicated to educating the public about the important role of the Senate in our government, encouraging participatory democracy, invigorating civil discourse, and inspiring the next generation of citizens and leaders to engage in the civic life of their communities.

The Institute’s Staff

  • Mary K. Grant, Ph.D.

    President

    Dr. Mary K. Grant was selected in September of 2017 as president of the Edward M. Kennedy Institute, and began leading the organization in January 2018.

    As chancellor at the University of North Carolina at Asheville, Grant is credited for making innovation a guiding value of the university’s new strategic plan. Under her leadership, the university was ranked #1 for “Making an Impact” by the Princeton review in 2016, recognizing schools with the best community service opportunities and student engagement. Grant led the University’s efforts to secure support for $67 million in new construction and renovations, and has built and deepened partnerships with the Asheville community. While leading the Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts (MCLA), Grant oversaw growth in enrollment, emphasized community engagement, and secured $100 million in new public and private support for the college through its first comprehensive capital campaign.

    Grant previously served as the chief academic officer and deputy CEO of UMassOnline, and was a senior fellow at the John W. McCormack Institute of Public Affairs at University of Massachusetts (UMass) Boston – now the McCormack Graduate School of Policy and Global Studies – where she led the McCormack Institute’s master’s program in public affairs and served as director of the Center for Social Policy. In addition, Grant served as assistant vice chancellor for administration and finance and human resources at UMass Boston.

    Grant currently serves as vice chair of the board for National Campus Compact and a trustee of the Norman Rockwell Museum. She holds a bachelor’s degree in sociology from MCLA, a master’s degree in public affairs from UMass Boston, a Ph.D. in social policy from The Heller School at Brandeis University, and an honorary degree from Williams College.

  • Caroline Angel Burke

    Vice President of Education, Visitor Experience & Collections

    Caroline Angel Burke is responsible for all educational programs, exhibits, interpretation, media development, and curatorial collections at the Institute. Angel Burke has worked in and for museums for over twenty years, and believes passionately in the power of informal educational experiences.

    Prior to her arrival at the Institute, she was senior project manager in exhibits at the Museum of Science, Boston; program manager for the Museum’s adult and special programs; and has worked in curatorial, project management, educational, and visitor service management positions at a variety of museums and their support industries in the United States and the UK. She has a BA in history and anthropology from Northeastern University and a master’s degree in Museum Studies from the University of Leicester, UK.

  • Kathleen Grant, CPA

    Chief Financial and Business Operations Officer

    Kathleen Grant oversees the Institute’s financial and business operations teams including accounting, private events, gift store and cafe, and human resources.

    A seasoned executive with over 25 years of leadership experience in financial and operational roles, Kathleen has held positions in financial professional services, real estate, construction, investment firms, and consulting. Her portfolio includes established companies and start-ups. Kathleen’s roles included positions at the Heron Group, LLC as partner; Critical Systems, LLC as executive VP of operations and CFO; HQ Global Workplaces as director of facilities; and HQ Business Centers as CFO. She began her career in audit at Arthur Andersen & Co.

    Kathleen holds a bachelor’s of science degree in accounting from Boston College. She is a member of the American Institute of CPAs and a Family Advisory Board member for Concussion Legacy Foundation. In addition, she was elected and served on the School Committee and was treasurer of the Community Preservation Act Committee in West Bridgewater, Massachusetts.

  • Gina Perille

    Chief Operating Officer

    Gina Perille oversees the external relations division at the Institute which encompasses marketing, government relations, public programs, and communications; as well as technology and the Institute’s digital presence.

    Perille previously worked at Harvard where she was part of the University’s public affairs and communications division and served as the director of communications for the Harvard Library system. Previously, she worked for the City of Boston in the role of chief of communications and strategy for the Boston Public Library where she wrote the award-winning strategic plan, the BPL Compass; and led media, marketing, branding, and engagement efforts across twenty-five locations with a combined average of 800 monthly programs and exhibitions.

    In other roles, Perille led a global corporate foundation where she oversaw philanthropic, corporate culture, and corporate citizenship initiatives; and worked at a management consulting firm that advised government agencies, cultural organizations, academic institutions, and foundations. A former correspondent for the Boston Globe, Perille holds an MBA from Boston University and a BFA from the University of Illinois. She is a graduate of the LeadBoston social justice leadership program, volunteers with the Boston Pride Committee, and serves on the Corporate Executive Council for WGBH. In November 2018, Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker appointed her to the Commonwealth’s Board of Library Commissioners.

  • Betsy Rigby

    Chief Development Officer

    Betsy Rigby oversees the Institute’s fundraising operations, which includes major giving, annual giving, corporate and foundation support, membership, alumni relations, and the annual dinner.

    Rigby previously served as the chief development officer at the MGH Institute of Health Professions and as director of development with Partners HealthCare. She has worked exclusively in fundraising for nonprofits since earning a masters degree from the Harvard Graduate School of Education in 1989. Rigby has also worked for the American Red Cross of Massachusetts Bay, the Medical Foundation, and the League of Women Voters where she worked on issues of civic engagement and democracy. She holds a bachelor’s degree from Tufts University.

    Rigby has been active in professional associations throughout her career. She is a member of the board of directors of the Massachusetts Association of Fund Raising Professionals and has served on the board of directors of Women in Development. She was both a member of the steering committee and the development chair of the Group on Institutional Advancement of the American Association of Medical Colleges.

  • Meet the Rest of our Team

    by Department

    Department Staff Title
     
    Development Betsy Rigby Chief Development Officer
    Development Lauren Janes Senior Administrator
    Development Alessandra Pasquale Development Coordinator
    Development Tara Rendon Alumni Relations Coordinator
    Development Kerri Cullen Director of Membership and Annual Fund
     
    Education Caroline Angel Burke Vice President, Education, Visitor Experience & Collections
    Education Sarah Yezzi Director of Education, Family & Youth Programming
    Education Amy Munslow Education Manager
    Education Nate Gundy Manager of Educational Programming
    Education Will Foster-Nolan Lead Educator
    Education Jan Crocker Senior Exhibit & Content Developer
    Education Lou Rocco Program & Content Developer
    Education Mitchell Carolan Education & Visitor Experience Senior Staff
    Education Tyler Crosby Education & Visitor Experience Senior Staff
    Education Abigail Courage Visitor Experience Coordinator
    Education ​Eileen Donovan Volunteer & Intern Program Manager
     
    Executive Office Chelsey Burke Executive Assistant to the President
     
    External Relations Gina Perille Chief Operating Officer
    External Relations Kelly Bovio Director of Government Relations
    External Relations Claire Cooper Director of Community Engagement
    External Relations Miles Halpine Communications Officer
    External Relations Katie Leclerc Multimedia & Graphic Designer
     
    Technology & Infrastructure Kevin Boothby Facilities Manager
    Technology & Infrastructure Luis Colon Customer Support Engineer  
    Technology & Infrastructure Jason Eliot Senior Managing Director of Technology & Infrastructure
     
    Business Operations Kathleen Grant Chief Financial & Business Operations Officer
    Business Operations Eileen Driscoll Cape House Project Manager
    Business Operations Paul Rehme Director of Financial Operations
    Business Operations Alba Rosado Accountant
    Business Operations Tim Stancell-Condron Director of Business Affairs & Events
    Business Operations Rachel Frazier Events Manager