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Marie St. Fleur, Bessie Tartt Wilson Initiative for Children, Thomas M. Menino, Maureen Alphonse Charles, Mary L. Reed

Attorney and child advocate Marie St. Fleur has been named president and chief executive officer of the Bessie Tartt Wilson Initiative for Children. She will assume this role on Nov. 18. St. Fleur has served for the past three years in the cabinet of Boston Mayor Thomas M. Menino as chief of advocacy and strategic investment for the City of Boston. A former state representative, St. Fleur represented Boston’s 5th Suffolk District in the Massachusetts legislature from 1999 to 2010.

“Marie St. Fleur has been a tireless advocate on behalf of children and families both at the State House and in City Hall,” Mayor Menino said. “Her thorough understanding of issues surrounding early childhood education and care, her ability to bring people together toward a common goal and her tireless enthusiasm will help to advance the vital work of The Bessie Tartt Wilson Initiative for Children.”

Outgoing president Mary L. Reed said St. Fleur’s experience as an attorney, lawmaker and senior leader in the Menino administration will help the initiative sharpen its research focus, advocate for change and expand outreach and communication to families, providers, policymakers and government agencies.

“Marie is uniquely qualified to advance the agenda of the initiative in an era of increasingly complex local, state and federal mandates,” said Reed. “She will help us to continue to fight for improved services and funding and to better the quality of early childhood education and care available to all children, regardless of income or neighborhood.”

“Marie is a highly respected leader from the Boston community who has proven herself to be a tireless advocate on behalf of children,” said BTWIC Board Vice Chairman Maureen Alphonse Charles. She is the right person to lead the Bessie Tartt Wilson Initiative for Children at the right time.”