Former Rep. St. Fleur to take top post at early education organization

Gintautas Dumcius, News Editor
Nov. 3, 2013

Former state Rep. Marie St. Fleur is leaving the Menino administration for the top job at the Bessie Tartt Wilson Initiative for Children. St. Fleur, who has served as Mayor Thomas Menino's chief of advocacy and strategic investment, will become the organization's president and chief executive officer starting on Nov. 18.

“Marie St. Fleur has been a tireless advocate on behalf of children and families both at the State House and in City Hall,” Menino said in a statement. “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.”

St. Fleur, a Haitian-American, joined the Menino administration in 2010, after serving for nearly a decade as a the state representative for the Fifth Suffolk District. She served on the budget-writing Ways and means Committee and the Joint Committee on Consumer Protection. She also once chaired the House side of the Education Committee. St. Fleur is a graduate of UMass Amherst and Boston College Law School.

The news of her appointment was first noted by

The Bessie Tartt Wilson Initiative was named after the first woman of color to open a Boston child care center in 1946. According to its website, the organization has a small staff, including two senior researchers, an associate researcher and marketing manager, and office manager, and it is primarily funded through foundations and charities.

St. Fleur, who replaces Mary Reed as president, said it was an "exciting time" in the field of early childhood education. “We will be working not only with children, families and care providers, but with the next mayor, legislators, the governor and our Washington delegation to create an early education system in Massachusetts that prepares all children and families for the future," she said in a statement.