Rosemary J. Powers '78

Rosemary J. Powers is the President at Cristo Rey Boston, a private Catholic high school in Dorchester that serves only families with limited economic resources. Rosemary boasts a distinguished and impressive background in public administration and government affairs.  She served as Deputy Chief of Staff for former Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick and more recently served on the senior teams of New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, and Rhode Island Governor Gina Raimondo.

Rosemary J. Powers is an alumna of the class of 1978.  For decades she committed herself to public administration with a focus on advancing good and putting positive change into action.  Her resume is extensive.  For more than 12 years Rosemary served the Commonwealth of Massachusetts under several roles. She was the Chief of Staff for Senator Jack Hart and later worked to advance the legislative agenda of Governor Deval Patrick as his Deputy Chief of Staff. Other roles included Chief of Staff for the Department of Environmental Protection and Director of Government Affairs for the Department of Conservation and Recreation.  Rosemary would move on to take over as the Chief Operating Officer of the New York State Department of Transportation.  She then served as Deputy Director of State Operations for Governor Cuomo, responsible for the energy, environment and transportation portfolios.  

In 2019 Rosemary was working as the Deputy Chief of Staff for Rhode Island Governor Gina Raimondo when the opportunity to take over at Cristo Rey arose. This was a chance for Rosemary to return to her Savin Hill roots and make a significant impact in the young lives of those in the neighborhood where she grew up and still lives. 

Cristo Rey Boston is part of the Jesuit-founded Cristo Rey Network.  The school exclusively serves families of limited resources. A full 100% of students receive some form of financial aid or tuition assistance and 100% have received acceptance at a 4-year college or university since 2010 with the majority of students successfully completing a college degree. Rosemary noted that her own father was raised in a Dorchester family that was “uncertain and economically distressed, very similar to our Cristo Rey families”. “When I see our students, I see my Dad, and hope to honor his memory by working to improve the situation and resources for Cristo Rey, our students and their families. The students who attend Cristo Rey Boston and the hard-working families who entrust their children to our care aspire to a better future. A chance to “move up the ladder, as my dad would say” to a fulfilling career and economic stability while remaining rooted in Cristo Rey’s core values of dignity, perseverance, growth and generosity.

Rosemary earned her bachelor’s degree in History at Suffolk University.  She would later earn a master’s in public administration from Harvard’s John F. Kennedy School of Government.  She is also the mother of two adult children.