Sandy Matava

Director, Moakley Center for Public Management; Instructor, Public Service and Healthcare Administration

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Ms. Matava has dedicated her career to the pursuit of the public good and the development of the next generation of government leaders. The first half of Ms. Matava’s career was spent in state government, working for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts in a variety of roles. Most notably, she served as Commissioner of the Massachusetts Department of Social Services (1983 to 1991) and Commissioner of the Massachusetts Commission for the Blind (1975-1979) during her tenure with the state. She gained a reputation both within the Commonwealth and nationally for innovation and excellence, along with a willingness to tackle the most challenging problems. Through risk taking, innovation, and mentoring colleagues, she made a profound difference in service improvement for the public and left the agency with a stronger cadre of rising leaders. After “retiring” from state government, Ms. Matava embarked on a second career in academia in the 1990s, returning to the Suffolk University MPA Program, where she had earned her own MPA degree in 1981. She is an exceptional professor, with the knowledge and experience to bring the classroom to life. In addition to her faculty role, Ms. Matava serves as the Director of the Moakley Center for Public Management.

Honors and Recognitions

  • 2021 National Public Service Award

Professional Activities

  • Massachusetts Department of Education: Charter School applicant Reviewer (2005-present)
  • Roxbury Youthworks, Board of Directors and Treasurer (1995-Present)
  • Director, the Moakley Center for Public Management (1995-present)

Intellectual Contributions

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Courses Taught

PAD815: Nonprofit Management
PAD857: Moakley Entrepreneurial Practitioner Program

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Degrees/Professional Certifications

  • MPA, Suffolk University
  • BA, University of Connecticut