Mary R. Jeka
Jeka appointed VP of university relations

Mary R. Jeka, former principal aide and general counsel to U.S. Sen. Edward M. Kennedy, D-Mass., joined Tufts over the summer as the new vice president for university relations. She serves as a member of President Lawrence S. Bacow's senior leadership team, is a member of the Academic Council and reports to the president.

In this new position, Jeka has overall responsibility for government and community relations, legal affairs, publications, Tufts' web presence and public relations. "She has an extraordinary background," Bacow said, "and I believe she will help us to optimize coordination of our strategies and programs for communications, government and community relations and legal affairs."

Jeka has extensive government affairs experience in Massachusetts and Washington, D.C. For eight years she worked with Senator Kennedy on appropriations, educational matters and health care within the jurisdiction of the Senate Labor and Human Resources Committee. She then returned to Massachusetts and served as general counsel for the Massachusetts Water Resources Authority (MWRA), with primary responsibility for government relations on Capitol Hill. In this capacity, she developed the strategy to secure $1 billion in federal appropriations to the MWRA to finance the Boston Harbor cleanup. She also managed a 32-person legal team involved in bond issues, compliance with state and federal laws and claims in environmental, employment, real estate and construction issues.

Jeka knows the higher education community through her more recent work as general counsel for the Massachusetts Health and Educational Facilities Authority, which is responsible for issuing tax-exempt debt to health organizations, higher education institutions and cultural and other nonprofit organizations.

A resident of Somerville, Mass., Jeka serves on the city's Zoning Board of Appeals. She also serves on the boards of Boston's Women's Educational and Industrial Union, the Boston Harbor Association and the Silent Spring Institute in Newton. She earned both a law degree and a bachelor's degree in political science cum laude from Boston College.

Reporting to Jeka are Gail Bambrick, director of publications; Mary Lee Jacobs, general counsel; Cindy Pollard, director of public relations; and Barbara Rubel, director of community relations.