Georgiana Chevry '94 is a leader in the Medford community where she grew up. For eight years, she served as the Governor-appointed Commissioner on the Board of Commissioners for the Medford Housing Authority (MHA), ultimately rising to its Vice Chair. Georgiana pushed the housing authority to do a thorough policies review, which had not been undertaken since 1954.
As a result, its policies were contributing to disparate outcomes for marginalized communities. This became more apparent than ever in the COVID-19 pandemic. Georgiana introduced and passed an anti-racist and anti-bias policy audit involving all MHA staff and leadership. She said, “it was a difficult but necessary conversation to be had in order to look at housing policies through a diverse, equitable, and inclusive lens.” She recently completed her MHA service, leaving an important legacy of equity and inclusion.
Georgiana holds a masters in higher education administration from Suffolk University and is currently the Director of Basic Needs Policy and Programs for the Massachusetts Department of Higher Education. She oversees the systemic level policy response and partnerships addressing basic need securities of college students across the state. She is also pursuing a second master’s in public policy at Tufts University, as a Neighborhood Fellow. While learning about public policies beyond housing, Georgiana found that “more than 46 percent of K-12 students are on free or reduced lunch in Medford Public Schools.” Georgiana is now a member of Medford’s Food Security Task Force and says, “if you don’t have basic needs like housing, food, healthcare, education met, the city is not able to move forward.”
Georgiana is grateful for her education at Shady Hill, influencing her to be a curious thinker, to center relationships, and become a transformational leader. She recalls learning some greeting words in Swahili in Grade VI, with its Central Subject of Africa – a lesson she has put to use since then, when meeting Swahili speakers.