University of Connecticut

Anne Foley

Alumni Anne Foley
Improving the Effectiveness of State Services Through Research and Policy Development
Anne Foley, MSW ’87

Anne Foley is Under Secretary, Policy Development and Planning Division, Office of Policy and Management (OPM). As Under Secretary, I oversee state efforts to coordinate the implementation of interagency service delivery systems and improve the effectiveness of state services through research and policy development. I chair various statutory committees including the Child Poverty and Prevention Council, the Low Income Energy Advisory Board, and the Tobacco and Health Trust Fund Board of Trustees.

Other Current and Past Leadership Positions:

Prior to accepting this appointment, I worked at OPM for 23 years as planning analyst, planning specialist, legislative manager, and Senior Policy Advisor to two previous OPM Secretaries. I also have had the privilege of lecturing at the UConn SSW for the past 15 years for the foundation course in Analysis of Social Welfare Policy.

What inspired you to become a social worker?

During high school, I volunteered at the Newington Children’s Hospital and was first introduced to the social work profession. After graduating from Providence College with a B.A. in social work, I managed a group home for adults with psychiatric disabilities outside of Boston for a year and then applied for admission to the UConn SSW.

How has your education at the UConn SSW prepared you for your career?

The UConn SSW not only prepared me academically for my current career, but provided me the invaluable opportunity to intern at the state Office of Policy and Management, where I remain twenty five years later.

Was there one person or learning experience that had an impact on you?

Beyond the internship, I am grateful to Associate Dean Cathy Havens who counseled me regarding a major in Policy and Planning rather than in Casework. That was a pivotal decision in my career and I appreciated her taking the time and effort to help me understand the really exciting potential to influence public policy development through policy analysis and planning.

What has been your most rewarding accomplishment as a leader?

Although I have been fortunate to have been involved in many interesting public policy changes, I would say that coordinating the development and implementation of the state’s supportive housing efforts has been very rewarding. Through this initiative we have created about 2,000 units of permanent, affordable housing matched with support services for formerly homeless individuals and families.