MSPA Alumna Promoted to Deputy Director at the MBTA
December 28, 2011
Barbara Graceffa, McCormack Graduate School of Policy and Global Studies
Tamara “Tammy” Powell, a recent alumna of the master’s degree program in public affairs, has been promoted to the position of deputy director of safety oversight at the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA). In her new role, she will oversee the Safety Department and work with the deputy chief of staff on the design, implementation, and monitoring of the T’s System Safety Program.
In 1992, Powell began her career at the “T” as a part-time train attendant on the Orange Line. During her first 14 years, she was promoted five times within the Subway Operations Department. Non-supervisory roles included motorperson, worktrain operator, inspector, chief inspector, and dispatcher. In 2006, she advanced to the position of supervisor of the Operations Control Center and, later that year, was promoted again to assistant director of administration.
Powell earned both her bachelor’s and master’s degrees at UMass Boston—in law/legal studies and public affairs, respectively. In her MSPA studies, she enrolled in part-time evening and weekend classes, focusing on the management of public agencies. Her graduate courses in budgeting and finance, ethics, organizational behavior, performance management, policy analysis, program evaluation, and research design will come in handy in her new role.
According to Research Associate Professor of Public Policy and Public Affairs Donna Haig Friedman, who supervised Powell's final capstone project, “This is a great achievement for Tammy. She was an excellent student and I am certain that she will excel in her new position at the T.”
Connie Chan, MSPA graduate program director, agreed: “Although Tammy was already a mid-career professional, she was able to gain valuable analytical, technical and leadership skills that she can easily transfer to her new role as deputy director. We are very proud of her.”