11.20.14 — Attorney General-Elect Maura Healey '98 has announced the appointment of Professor Margaret Burnham, Monica Halas '78 and David Sullivan '86 to her Transition Team. They will join a diverse, experienced team of attorneys, prosecutors, and community leaders who have been selected to help guide her transition into office. NU Profesor Jack McDevitt will also serve as an advisor. 

“This group of talented leaders will help me ensure the people continue to have the strongest, nation-leading Attorney General’s Office and that we hit the ground running in January,” said Healey.

Background on Transition Leaders

Professor Margaret Burnham joined the Northeastern University School of Law faculty in 2002. Her fields of expertise are civil and human rights, comparative constitutional rights, and international criminal law. She is the founder of the School of Law’s Civil Rights and Restorative Justice Project, which engages students in legal matters relating to the 1960s US civil rights movement. Professor Burnham began her career at the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund. In 1977, she became the first African American woman to serve in the Massachusetts judiciary, when she joined the Boston Municipal Court bench as an associate justice. In 1993, South African president Nelson Mandela appointed Professor Burnham to serve on an international human rights commission, a precursor to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. A former fellow of the Bunting Institute at Radcliffe College and Harvard University's W.E.B. DuBois Institute for Afro-American Studies, Professor Burnham has written extensively on contemporary legal and political issues. She lives in Boston.

Monica Halas '78 is a nationally recognized employment law expert and lead attorney in the Employment Law Unit of Greater Boston Legal Services, where she has worked for 36 years. She has spent her career advocating for individual clients and for reforms to Massachusetts employment laws. Halas is a member of UAW Local 2320 and a vice-president on the Executive Board of the Massachusetts AFL-CIO. Her varied legislative achievements include expanding eligible recipients of federal unemployment insurance, the 2012 Right to Know Law, and increases to the state minimum wage, the earned income tax credit, parental leave and protections for domestic workers. In 2013, Halas was named a “Top Women of Law” by Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly and, in 2014 received the Lelia J. Robinson Award from the Women’s Bar Association of Massachusetts. She lives in Boston.

Professor Jack McDevitt is Associate Dean of Research for the College of Social Sciences & Humanities at Northeastern University. Professor McDevitt also directs the Institute on Race and Justice. Professor McDevitt is the co-author of three books and has spoken on hate crime, racial profiling human trafficking and security both nationally and internationally and has testified as an expert witness before the Judiciary Committees of both U.S. Senate and The U.S. House of Representatives and as invited expert at the White House. Professor McDevitt was appointed by Massachusetts House Speaker Robert DeLeo to lead the Committee to Reduce Firearm Violence. The recommendations of the Committee informed Massachusetts’ nation-leading gun safety legislation, signed into law by Governor Patrick in 2014.

David Sullivan '86 was elected Northwestern Districy Attorney in November 2010 after serving as Register of Probate for Hampshire Probate and Family Court and, before that, as city attorney for Easthampton. As District Attorney, Sullivan has embraced a community prosecution model that blends smart and fair prosecutions, crime prevention, law enforcement partnerships and community collaboration to build safer communities. In 2008, he was one of two Massachusetts lawyers chosen to receive the Massachusetts Bar Foundation's President's Award for "extraordinary volunteerism, leadership, and commitment to increasing access to justice in Massachusetts. Prior to serving in government, Sullivan was a trial attorney who handled thousands of criminal and civil cases.  He lives in Easthampton.