BURLINGTON, MA—Massachusetts State Representative Kay Khan will give the Lifetime Achievement Award this year at the Woman of the Year Awards gala on Friday at Burlington Marriott Hotel in Burlington, MA.
INDIA New England News will honor Shobha Shastri with the Lifetime Achievement Award. Ms. Shastri is founder and CEO of Alankar Event Planners & Decorators, who has followed her passion for serving the community for two decades.
Ms. Khan has represented Newton in the Massachusetts House of Representatives since 1995. She was originally appointed by Speaker Robert DeLeo in 2009 to serve as the House Chair of the Joint Committee on Children, Families, and Persons with Disabilities, and has served in this capacity ever since.
The Committee provides legislative oversight of the Department of Children and Families, the Department of Developmental Disabilities, the Department of Youth Services, the Department of Transitional Assistance, the Commission for the Blind, the Commission for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing, and the Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission. The Committee also works closely with the Department of Early Education and Care as well as the Department of Mental Health.
Representative Khan is the founder and Co-Chair of the legislative Mental Health Caucus, the first of its kind in the country, and founder and Co-Chair of the Task Force on Justice Involved Women and Their Children, under the aegis of the Massachusetts Caucus of Women Legislators. She served as the Co-Chair of the Massachusetts Caucus of Women Legislators several years ago and in recent years, has served on the Commission to End Homelessness and the Special Commission on Early Education and Care. Representative Khan currently serves on the Unaccompanied Homeless Youth Commission, the Criminal Justice Commission, the Child Sexual Abuse Prevention Task Force, the Task Force on Child Welfare Data Reporting, the Massachusetts Coalition to Ban Conversion Therapy on Minors, and the Department of Youth Services Safety Task Force.
Ms. Khan is one of the Legislature’s most outspoken advocates for progressive policies for incarcerated individuals, including women and juveniles. As a member of the Criminal Justice Commission, she promotes ways to prevent crime by implementing data-driven, evidenced based public safety reforms that protect citizens in our cities and towns, reduces recidivism and saves taxpayer dollars. She has an interest in juvenile justice reform and has filed legislation to raise the age of juvenile jurisdiction to 19 and expunge specific juvenile records. Representative Khan is also an adamant supporter of improving the rights, health, wellbeing, and conditions of incarcerated individuals.
She earned her bachelor’s degree from Boston University School of Nursing. Her first job as a nurse was at Boston Children’s Hospital. Following this, she became an instructor for Boston University School of Nursing undergraduate students on a pediatric rotation. She went on to earn a master’s degree in Psychiatric Mental Health Nursing from Boston University, graduating with honors and worked in a private group practice in Newton for close to 20 years.
Representative Khan is a world traveler and has visited a wide array of countries around the world. She enjoys hiking, biking, travel, arts and culture, theatre, ballet, cooking, entertaining, and spending time with her grandchildren. She serves as a Board Member of the New Philharmonia Orchestra and is a founding Board Member of the Newton Cultural Alliance.
Representative Khan has lived in Newton for more than 40 years where she and her husband raised their three children and now enjoys her seven grandchildren.