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Faculty & Research

Jeffrey Christopher Riley

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Email:  [javascript protected email address]
Office:  Larsen 504
Faculty Assistant:  Mark McNally


Jeffrey C. Riley is an adjunct lecturer on education at HGSE and the commissioner of elementary and secondary education in MA. As Commissioner he is responsible for seven key strategic areas: administration and finance, district support, educational options, instructional support, legal, planning and research, and student assessment.

Riley was appointed Massachusetts’ 24th commissioner of elementary and secondary education in early 2018 and began serving as commissioner on April 5, 2018. A Massachusetts native, his experience spans urban and suburban districts and includes teaching in Baltimore, MD., being principal of Tyngsboro Middle School, and principal of Boston's Edwards Middle School. 

In January 2012, he was appointed superintendent/receiver of the Lawrence Public Schools. During his more than six years there, he led a team that brought major improvements by shifting more resources and autonomy to the school level, expanding the school day, increasing enrichment opportunities, and ensuring all schools had great leaders and teachers.

Riley lives in Boston and holds a bachelor's degree in philosophy from Pomona College in California, a master's degree in counseling from Johns Hopkins University in Maryland and a master's degree in school administration, planning and social policy from Harvard University.

The Department of Elementary and Secondary Education provides leadership, oversight, funding, support, and accountability for the Commonwealth's 404 school districts that are charged with educating close to 1 million public school children and 20,000 adult learners each year. The commissioner is appointed by the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education as the state's chief executive officer of public schools.