News

Undergraduates Celebrate Second Consecutive Virtual Housing Day

News

Dean of Students Office Discusses Housing Day, Anti-Racism Goals

News

Renowned Cardiologist and Nobel Peace Prize Winner Bernard Lown Dies at 99

News

Native American Nonprofit Accuses Harvard of Violating Federal Graves Protection and Repatriation Act

News

U.S. Reps Assess Biden’s Progress on Immigration at HKS Event

Bane Leaves Clinton Administration

News Analysis

By Douglas M. Pravda

A former Kennedy School professor may return to Harvard after resigning yesterday from her post as assistant secretary for children and families at the Department of Heath and Human Services (HHS).

Mary Jo Bane, one of President Clinton's highest-ranking welfare officials, announced Wednesday that she would step down to protest Clinton's signing of the recent welfare bill, which ended the guarantee of cash assistance to the nation's poorest children.

According to The New York Times, Bane told her colleagues in an e-mail message that her concerns about the welfare bill had "led me to conclude that I cannot continue to serve" as assistant secretary.

Peter B. Edelman, another assistant secretary at the Department of Health and Human Services, also resigned yesterday out of displeasure with the welfare bill. Both resignations will be effective Sept. 28.

Prior to joining the Clinton Administration, Bane served as Weiner Professor of Social Policy at the Kennedy School of Government, leading to speculation that she might return to Harvard.

Bane, reached at her home in Washington last night, declined to comment on her future plans.

"I am not making any comment to reporters, and that's all I have to say," she said.

Bane has close ties to the Boston area and to the Kennedy School.

Bane's husband, Kenneth I. Winston, lives in Boston and is a professor of philosophy at Wheaton College, which is located in the Boston area. In addition, Winston was a visiting professor at the Kennedy School last year.

Winston declined to comment last night on what his wife's future plans are, saying only that she would have to provide that information.

Bane has also worked closely with David T. Ellwood '75, the current academic dean of the Kennedy School.

Ellwood has been Weiner professor of public policy at the Kennedy School since 1980, one year before Bane joined the faculty there.

The two worked together on a number of articles, including a well-known study of poverty in America.

Ellwood and Bane also worked together at HHS. He was appointed assistant secretary for planning and evaluation in 1993, the same year Bane joined HHS.

Ellwood, who left HHS to become academic dean of the Kennedy School at a time when welfare reform was considered a dead issue, said he agreed with Bane's resignation.

"I certainly understand her decision," Ellwood said in an interview last night. "I, too, am very disappointed with the welfare bill.

Ellwood, who left HHS to become academic dean of the Kennedy School at a time when welfare reform was considered a dead issue, said he agreed with Bane's resignation.

"I certainly understand her decision," Ellwood said in an interview last night. "I, too, am very disappointed with the welfare bill.

Want to keep up with breaking news? Subscribe to our email newsletter.

Tags