The Research Bureau - Staff
Roberta Schaefer, Ph.D. – President & CEO, The Research Bureau
Roberta Schaefer, the founding Executive Director of The Research Bureau, was elected President and CEO in 2008. Under her direction, the Bureau has grown from a one-person office preparing studies on municipal issues to a four-person regional center of information and expertise in all areas of public policy in Central Massachusetts. In the 28 years of its existence, Roberta has researched, authored and edited more than 340 reports and organized over 200 public forums on public policy issues of concern to the Greater Worcester region. Reports and forums provide well-documented information and recommendations, which public officials and business and community leaders can use for debating important issues and developing sound public policy. These programs and reports reach a broad audience throughout the region and beyond because of their cost-free availability on our website. She is often called upon to testify before local, regional, and state committees, and has been the featured speaker for public service organizations and business events. Since 2000, Roberta has overseen The Research Bureau's citizen-informed government performance measurement program funded by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, which has received local, state, and national recognition for its citizen engagement and collaboration with government leading to measurable improvements in government performance. She has also overseen a successful New England region government performance measurement project initiated by New England States Government Finance Officers Association. She is a regular panelist on Central Mass Chronicles, a local television show. Roberta holds a B.A. with honors from Queens College of the City University of New York, an M.A. and Ph.D. in Political Science from the University of Chicago, and an honorary doctor of humane letters from WPI. She is also a recipient of the Telegram’s Visions Award for Public Service. She served as a member of the Massachusetts Board of Education from 1996 to 2007 and served as Vice-chair from 1998 to 2001. She is a corporator of Bay State Savings Bank and the Greater Worcester Community Foundation. With her husband, David Schaefer, Professor of Political Science at Holy Cross College, she has co-edited two books (Sir Henry Taylor's The Statesman and The Future of Cities) and authored many articles in professional journals.
Jean DeIeso - Director of Programs & Operations
Jean DeIeso joined The Research Bureau in the summer of 2001. She has responsibility over all administrative matters, including finance, development, and member services. Jean plans the Thomas S. Green Public Service Awards, the annual meeting, and various other forums and lectures that The Research Bureau hosts each year. Jean, a graduate of Clark University, has more than 35 years experience in business administration.
Mary Beth Burke - Research Associate
Mary Beth joined The Research Bureau staff in the spring of 2013. Her primary responsibilities involve researching and writing research reports covering a wide variety of public policy issues in Worcester and the region. The ultimate purpose of these research reports is to offer decision-makers and the public a balanced, thorough analysis of an issue accompanied by sensible recommendations. She also oversees the Bureau’s internship program.Mary Beth earned her BA from the College of the Holy Cross and an MA in Political Science from Boston College. She was a member of the Massachsetts Bay Transportation Authority for five years, overseeing operational, budget, and personnel issues. Mary Beth co-founded the Abby Kelley Foster Public Charter School in 1998. She served as President of the Board of Trustees for seven years and chairman of the school’s education committee for ten years. She currently teaches in the Political Science department at Assumption College, specializing in public policy, public administration, and state and municipal government.