Harsharbger and fellow presenters, Jennifer Moye, PhD and David Sontag, JD, discussed the need for public guardianship in Massachusetts and answered questions about the bill that the Massachusetts Guardianship Policy Institute filed on January 20, which would allow a public guardian or conservator for incapacitated adults who are indigent, isolated and ineligible for help from existing state programs.
Harshbarger specializes in providing strategic counsel for corporate investigations and defense, business ethics, compliance and risk management, corporate and governance, and government regulation. He has had a long and successful public service career as a public defender, civil rights attorney, Middlesex District Attorney and Massachusetts Attorney General. While AG, he was the elected President of the National Association of Attorneys General (NAAG), and led numerous major consumer and public protection initiatives. From 1999-2002, Harshbarger served as President and CEO of Common Cause in Washington, D.C., the national nonprofit citizens’ lobby, public interest advocacy and government and corporate watchdog group founded by John Gardner.
Since returning to private practice, Harshbarger has continued to be involved in public policy reform, serving as the head of Governor Romney’s Commission on Corrections Reform (2003-2005), chair of the Blue Ribbon Commission on Public Pension Reform, vice-chair of the Ethics Resource Center, chair of the SJC Task force on Hiring and Promotion in Probation, and in the Judicial Branch (2010-2011), a member of the SJC Court Management Advisory Board (CMAB), and chair of the Advisory Board for the Rappaport Center for Law and Public Policy at Boston College Law School.
The Massachusetts Guardianship Policy Institute is a non-profit collaboration based in Massachusetts that is committed to research, education and advocacy on issues of guardianship and its alternatives. Their mission is to develop and promote policies to widen the public safety net for the most vulnerable members of society – while addressing the limitations of traditional guardianship for those who can benefit from other forms of decision-making support.
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