Moakley Forum

The encouragement of community discourse on pressing public issues is at the core of the Moakley Center's mission. Suffolk University, in collaboration with community partners such as the Massachusetts Municipal Association, created the Moakley Forum to honor and promote Congressman Moakley’s outstanding legacy in public service and to evoke his passion for engaging communities in the discourse of public life.

Through the Moakley Forum, we invite stakeholders, students, and interested citizens to engage issues of public importance in which keynote speakers have developed regional and national distinction. Recent forums focused on the topics of marijuana legalization (October 2017) the high price of “burnout” (May 2018).

Inaugurated in 2010, the Moakley Breakfast Series has featured the Honorable Mayor Thomas M. Menino, the Honorable Barney Frank, the Honorable Jim McGovern, and several other leading public servants.

About Joe Moakley

From 1953 to 2001, John Joseph Moakley dedicated his life to public service. As a member of the Massachusetts House of Representatives (1953–1963), Massachusetts Senate (1964–1970), Boston City Council (1971–1973), and the United States House of Representatives (1973–2001) Joe Moakley served his constituents, communities, state, and nation with integrity, diligence, and courage.
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Moakley Public Service Award

The annual Moakley Public Service Award recognizes individuals who exemplify Congressman Moakley’s commitment and outstanding performance in the public service sector.

In 2011, the first award was presented to Dolores L. Mitchell for her dedication to promoting high-quality, accessible and affordable health insurance for public service citizens of the Commonwealth and their families. As Executive Director of the Group Insurance Commission (GIC), Mitchell oversees the management of life, health, disability, dental, and vision services for almost 375,000 of the Commonwealth’s employees, retirees, and their dependents. Her 25-year tenure at the GIC has spanned the administrations of Governors Dukakis, Weld, Cellucci, Swift, Romney, and now Governor Patrick.

The 2012 Moakley Public Service Award was presented to Kevin Ryan, chief of staff to Congressman Stephen F. Lynch (MA-9). Ryan began his public service career with Congressman Joe Moakley in 1982, serving as his chief of staff from 1996 until 2001. As a key staffer to the House Rules Committee in 1994, Ryan was integral to the movement and passage of the Brady Bill and Assault Weapons Ban. Ryan earned his Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from Averett University and his master's degree in Government and Public Policy from Johns Hopkins University.