Recent Menschel Fellows

Recent Fellows

Fall 1, 2023: Lori Lightfoot, former Mayor of Chicago

Lori Lightfoot served as the 56th mayor of Chicago, making history as the city’s first African American female mayor. During her term as mayor, which ended May 15, 2023, Lightfoot led a coordinated, citywide response across government, business, and community organizations to safeguard public health and minimize economic impact from the COVID-19 pandemic. Among other steps, she created a Racial Equity Rapid Response Team and the COVID-19 Recovery Task Force.

Chicago’s first Black woman and first openly gay mayor, Lightfoot also focused on generating inclusive economic growth across the city’s neighborhoods. Her accomplishments included landmark ethics and good governance reforms, worker protection legislation, and key investments in education, public safety, and financial stability. In August of 2021, Lightfoot secured a $15 minimum wage for most workers in Chicago, including domestic workers, years ahead of the state’s planned phase-in of a living wage.

Before taking office as mayor, Lightfoot held several other leadership roles in city government and served as a federal prosecutor.

BOSTON, MA – DECEMBER 19: Recent CEO of Blue Cross and Blue Shield, Andrew Dreyfus in Boston. December 19, 2018 (Photo By Faith Ninivaggi)

Spring 2, 2023: Andrew Dreyfus, recent President and Chief Executive Officer for Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts (BCBSMA)

Andrew Dreyfus is the recent President and Chief Executive Officer for Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts (BCBSMA), one of the largest independent Blue Cross Blue Shield plans in the country with over $8 billion in revenue and nearly three million members. Under his leadership, BCBSMA has been consistently recognized as one of the nation’s best health plans for member satisfaction and quality. Andrew joined BCBSMA in 2005 as Executive Vice President of Health Care Services, where he led the creation of the Alternative Quality Contract, one of the largest commercial payment reform initiatives in the nation. He previously served as founding President of the Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts Foundation, where he oversaw the development of the “Roadmap to Coverage.” That multi-year initiative led to the passage of the state’s landmark 2006 Health Reform Law, which resulted in the lowest uninsured rate in the country and later became the model for the Affordable Care Act. Andrew currently serves on the boards of the National Institute for Health Care Management, Ironwood Pharmaceuticals, and RIZE Massachusetts. He is a member of the advisory boards of Ariadne Labs and the Leonard D. Schaeffer Center for Health Policy and Economics at the University of Southern California (USC). He is a founding member of the Massachusetts Coalition for Serious Illness Care and a member of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine’s Roundtable on Quality Care for People with Serious Illness. Prior to Blue Cross, Andrew was Executive Vice President of the Massachusetts Hospital Association (MHA), and held a number of senior health and regulatory positions in Massachusetts state government. Andrew holds a B.A. in English from Connecticut College.

Fall 2, Section 1 2022: Mayor Bill de Blasio, Mayor of New York City, NY (2014-20212)

Bill de Blasio served as the mayor of New York City from 2014 to 2021. He led New York City through the Covid-19 pandemic, turning what was once a global epicenter into the safest city in the country. DeBlasio also led a groundbreaking initiative which ensured that early childhood education became a universal right in the five boroughs; that program has become a national model. During his tenure, New York City financed the preservation and construction of more than 200,000 affordable homes and launched a first-in-the nation, six-point action plan to end long-term homelessness. “The Journey Home” initiative was designed to increase access to housing and health care in combination with rapid-response outreach efforts for homeless individuals living in the streets. In fulfilling his campaign promise to end a “tale of two cities,” de Blasio implemented policies which successfully reduced income inequality among New Yorkers and fought alongside them to secure a $15 minimum wage for all workers. In response to the growing climate crisis, de Blasio and the Council passed the Climate Mobilization Act (also known as the NYC Green New Deal) to make the city net-carbon-neutral by 2050, as well as groundbreaking legislation to reduce building emissions and end fossil fuel use in new buildings. Before becoming mayor, de Blasio served as New York City’s public advocate from 2010 to 2013 and as a member of the City Council from 2002 to 2009.

Fall 2, section 2 2022: Kim Janey, 55th Mayor of the City of Boston 

Kim Michelle Janey has been at the center of Boston’s history — the bad and the good. At eleven years old, Janey was on the front lines of the battle to desegregate the city’s schools, facing rocks and racial slurs during Boston’s tumultuous busing era in the 1970’s. Forty-five years later, Janey made history when she was sworn in as Boston’s first woman and first Black mayor, successfully leading the city through a multitude of unprecedented challenges, including the COVID-19 global pandemic.

Mayor Janey began her tenure with a citywide agenda of recovery, reopening, and renewal to address systemic inequities exposed and exacerbated by the Covid-19 pandemic. Janey re-opened Boston’s economy and its public schools by centering equity and prioritizing health and wellness. She invested millions to support small businesses, expanded protections for renters and homeowners, and launched fare-free public transit. Under Mayor Janey’s leadership, Boston experienced its safest summer in 5 years and became one of the most vaccinated big cities in America.

Prior to becoming Mayor, Janey made history in 2017 when she was elected to the Boston City Council as the first woman to represent District 7. In 2020, she was elected by her peers to serve as President of the most diverse City Council in Boston’s history.

Devoting her life to public service, Janey has 25 years of experience in the non-profit sector. In her role at Massachusetts Advocates for Children, Janey championed systemic policy reforms to increase equity, excellence, access, and opportunity in Boston Public Schools. Prior to that, Janey worked as a Community Organizer, advocating for affordable, quality child care.

Kim Janey has been recognized for her years of service with a number of awards, including the Boston NAACP Difference Maker Award in 2015, the Sapphire Award in 2017, a Community Leadership Award in 2018, and the Hubie Jones Award in 2020. In 2021 Janey was named one of Boston’s Most Impactful Black Women and listed in Boston Magazine’s 100 Most Influential Bostonians.

If you have any questions related to the Menschel Senior Leadership Fellowship program, please contact Eric Andersen, Director ( or Salif Mangane, Senior Program Coordinator (