Michael Thomas Duffy is a manager with extensive experience in the public, private and non-profit sector; currently he is the President of the Great Oaks Foundation. In this role he has spearheaded the launch of a new network of charter schools in Newark, NJ, New York's Chinatown, Bridgeport, CT and Wilmington, DE.
Duffy had previously served as Director of the Charter School Office for the New York City Department of Education, working for three years under the leadership of Chancellor Joel Klein to help expand the number of high quality charter schools operating in NYC. Prior to that, he worked in Boston at two different charter high schools, one a start-up, the other a turnaround of a troubled school.
Duffy’s efforts in education grew out of his work in the civil rights movement. In 1991 Massachusetts Governor William Weld appointed him to be the Chairman and Commissioner of the Commonwealth's civil rights enforcement commission, a position that he held for six years. In this role, Duffy pioneered the use of undercover investigations to enforce civil rights laws barring race and age discrimination in hiring. During that time Duffy testified before Congress several times and appeared at a White House conference on matters relating to the enforcement of civil rights laws.
Duffy later served in the Governor's cabinet as the Director of the Office of Consumer Affairs and Business Regulation where he oversaw the Division of Banks, the Division of Insurance, and the Department of Public Utilities, among other agencies. In 1997 while the head of Consumer Affairs, Duffy led an investigation into sub-prime mortgage lending, exposing unlawful practices that victimized vulnerable homeowners. In 2005, Duffy was appointed by the Governor to serve on the board of the Massachusetts Educational Finance Authority, a quasi-public agency that finances student loans.
While a resident of Massachusetts, Duffy twice was a candidate for public office and has worked or volunteered on dozens of political campaigns. He has also held leadership positions in the non-profit sector: he served on the Board of Directors of the Human Rights Campaign, for several years as its co-chair; he was also the Executive Director of the AIDS Action Committee of Massachusetts and currently serves on the Vestry of St. Bartholomew’s Episcopal Church.
Duffy has a Master’s degree in Public Policy from the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University where he wrote his thesis on business support for child day care. He graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Trinity College in Connecticut with a degree in Economics. As an undergraduate, Duffy interned in both the Connecticut Legislature and the British Parliament.
What does it mean to lead? This course is an exploration of the ideas and theories developed at Harvard University by Ron Heifetz and Marty Linsky over the last 30 years about the work of leaders in mobilizing groups to act to solve complex and seemingly intractable problems. We will contrast Heifetz and Linsky’s notion of leadership with the more traditional theories of leadership.
In this course, students will: (1) learn how to distinguish technical challenges from adaptive ones; (2) understand group dynamics and work avoidance when it comes to facing adaptive challenges; (3) the tactics of adaptive leadership, including pacing, forging partnerships, acting politically and distinguishing between the view from the 'balcony' and the 'dance floor'; and (4) the risks to those who take on adaptive leadership challenges.
After taking the course, students will have a stronger sense of their own opportunity to lead, regardless of the formal authority that they may or may not possess. The Practice of Adaptive Leadership will equip students with both a better understanding of how to approach threats that have resisted past attempts at resolution and a set of practical tools that they can employ in tackling those threats.
• the fundamental mission and goals of a service delivery organization;
• a process understanding of an organization and the tools of process analysis and redesign;
• the similarities and differences in managing contracted services versus directly provided services;
• various approaches to measuring and evaluating the effectiveness of service delivery;
• the essential role of leadership and decision making;
• current and future challenges in service delivery.
How does someone go about changing the world? What can we learn from the past about what it means to be an effective agent of change? This course will focus on several broad social movements in post-war America. Our objectives will be: to introduce and familiarize students with these social movements that span post-war American history, putting each in its historical context; and to use these movements to illustrate the variety of tactics and strategies employed by advocates to advance social change including demonstrations, boycotts, legislation, regulatory action, electoral politics, marches, and voter referenda.