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In the news: Priscilla H. Douglas

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In the news: Priscilla H. Douglas
Priscilla H. Douglas COURTESY PHOTO

Priscilla H. Douglas has been elected chair of the Board of Trustees of the Boston Public Library. Douglas brings over 30 years of experience from leadership roles in business and government. She co-chaired the International Women’s Forum Conference in 2015 that welcomed 828 leaders from 30 countries to Boston. Douglas has worked with individuals and teams in the automotive, financial services, and technology industries, as well as in government, bringing real-world experience and thought leadership from the public and private sectors to client engagements.

Previously, as a White House Fellow, she served as a special assistant to William H. Webster, director of the FBI. For the Commonwealth of Massachusetts she served as assistant secretary for Public Safety, launched the Governor’s Task Force on Domestic Violence and instituted Hate Crimes Tracking. She also served as secretary of Consumer Affairs and Business Regulations, spearheading consumer protection and regulatory reforms. In addition, she successfully introduced the techniques of total quality management across the Commonwealth, which led to an invitation by the Australian Parliament to keynote the launch of their quality initiative.

Douglas was an instructor in the MA program for Harvard University Radcliffe Seminars, and taught courses in management, leadership and organizational behavior. She introduced seminars to bring the voice of women in business and in politics to her students. While at General Motors, she worked closely with the originator of the quality movement, Dr. W. Edwards Deming. At Xerox she designed a knowledge sharing engagement process and curriculum that was deployed globally.

Douglas holds master of education and bachelor of science degrees from Northeastern University and an Ed.D from the Harvard Graduate School of Education, where her thesis was accepted with distinction. Honors include a Distinguished Service Award from the Wellesley College Center for Research on Women, an Abigail Adams Award, and her service as a White House Fellow.

Established in 1848, the Boston Public Library has pioneered public library service in America. It was the first large free municipal library in the United States, the first public library to lend books, the first to have a branch library, and the first to have a children’s room.