State Representative Marty Walz to give up seat to join Planned Parenthood League of Massachusetts

After four terms serving as the representative for the state’s eighth district, Martha “Marty” Walz will announce Wednesday that she is resigning her legislative seat to become the new chief executive officer for the Planned Parenthood League of Massachusetts, according to a person with direct knowledge of the League’s decision.

Walz, 51, was chosen by Planned Parenthood over Dr. JudyAnn Bigby, who recently served as Health and Human Services secretary for Governor Deval Patrick’s administration, said the source, who requested anonymity. Walz could not be reached for comment Tuesday night.

A Democrat of Boston, she won her seat in 2005. Walz also serves as a vice chair on the House Committee on Ways and Means.

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She emerged as a major player on Beacon Hill, especially after she helped create one the nation’s comprehensive anti-bullying laws in 2010. Under the law, school districts were required to submit plans to combat bullying to the state. The law was enacted after 15-year-old Phoebe Prince, of South Hadley, committed suicide because of bullying.

Walz was also the House Chair of the Joint Committee on Education during the 2009-10 legislative session, as well as a member of the Federal Stimulus Oversight Committee and Executive Committee of the Caucus of Women Legislators.

Among other accomplishments, Walz is a member of the Early Education and Care Council, which helps advise the Department of Early Education and Care with after-school services and early education for families.

Walz is joining Planned Parenthood—an organization that looks to “protect and promote sexual and reproductive health and freedom of choice,” according to the Massachusetts League’s website—after its previous president and CEO Dianne Luby announced her resignation in December. Luby served both positions for 13 years.

During the search, the league’s chair of the board of directors, Nonnie S. Burnes, served as the interim CEO.

Walz has a master’s degree in Public Administration from Havard University, as well as a juris doctorate from New York University School of Law.

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