About Eileen Donoghue
Eileen Donoghue is a fourth-term state senator from the First Middlesex District, serving the communities of Lowell, Dunstable, Groton, Pepperell, Tyngsboro, and Westford. The Senator was first elected to the Massachusetts Senate in November of 2010.
Upon graduating from University of Massachusetts in 1976, with an individualized concentration in law and Spanish, the Senator pursued her passion for law. She received her Juris Doctor at Suffolk University Law School in 1979. After twelve years of practicing law, Senator Donoghue opened her own firm in the City of Lowell in 1991 before joining Gallagher & Cavanaugh in 2008.
Senator Donoghue was elected to the Lowell City Council in 1996 and two years later was elected mayor for her first of two terms at that post. During her tenure as mayor, she was proud to champion some of the most historic and important economic development projects for the city, including the Tsongas Arena and LeLacheur Park, the construction and renovation of 17 schools, and the artist overlay district which resulted in more than 800 new artists’ lofts now occupying formerly abandoned mills.
Senator Donoghue chairs the Senate Committee on Steering and Policy, which assists the rest of the Senate’s leadership in developing an agenda for the body. She also serves as the Senate chair of the Joint Committee on Export Development. This newly formed committee handles matters concerning exports, trade, and international competitiveness, promotes Massachusetts as a global economic leader, and develops partnerships between the commonwealth and other states and nations.
Creating economic opportunity in Greater Lowell is Senator Donoghue’s main focus on Beacon Hill. While serving as the Senate chair of the Joint Committee on Economic Development and Emerging Technologies from 2015-2016, she helped usher through an economic development bill that authorizes $1 billion in bonding for strategic investments in infrastructure, job creation, workforce development, housing production, and the revitalization of gateway cities.
Issues surrounding higher education have long been a legislative priority for the Senator Donoghue, who is the Senate vice chair of the Joint Committee on Higher Education. She continues to advocate the many student debt solutions that were recommended by a subcommittee she chaired in 2013-2014. Senator Donoghue successfully pushed for the passage of one of those recommendations, the creation of a college savings tax deduction, during the 2015-2016 legislative session.
The senator also currently serves on the Senate Committee on Ways and Means, the Senate Committee on Rules, the Joint Committee on Municipalities and Regional Government, and Joint Committee on Tourism, Arts and Cultural Development.
In early 2013, Senator Donoghue initiated legislation to create a commission to study the feasibility of hosting the summer Olympics in Boston. The commission found that, despite challenges, hosting the Summer Olympic and Paralympic Games in Massachusetts in 2024 would be feasible. Although Massachusetts will not end up hosting the Olympics, Senator Donoghue is proud that the bid prompted a robust discussion about the opportunities and challenges that the commonwealth will encounter during the next decade.
Senator Donoghue actively works to develop thoughtful economic opportunities for the people of Massachusetts and serves as Co-Chairing Commissioner of the online gaming, daily fantasy sports, e-sports special commission and Chairing Commissioner of the special commission on the commonwealth’s time zone. She also is as an appointed member of the Massachusetts-Quebec Cooperation Conference, the Eastern Regional Conference Executive Committee, the National Conference of State Legislatures’ Communications, Financial Services and Interstate Commerce Committee, Women in Government, the Massachusetts Economic Development Planning Council, and the Massachusetts Workforce Development Board. Locally, Senator Donoghue is a founding member of the Merrimack Valley Economic Development Council, Vice Chair and member of the Board of Directors of the Lowell Plan, and a Member of the Greater Lowell Opiate Task Force.
In her fourth term, Senator Donoghue remains honored to represent the people of the First Middlesex District in the Massachusetts Senate.
- Profession: Attorney
- Spouse: John J. O’Connor
- Founder of Merrimack Valley Economic Development Council
- Women Working Wonders Fund
- Co-founder of Future Stars Camp in Lowell
- Lowell Plan
Education & Public Service
- BA in Law and Spanish, University of Massachusetts Amherst; JD, Suffolk University.
- Mayor of Lowell, Lowell City Councilor