Governor Wolf to Nominate Estelle Richman to Philadelphia School Reform Commission

October 28, 2016

Harrisburg, PA – Governor Tom Wolf today announced his plans to nominate Estelle Richman, former senior adviser to the United States secretary of Housing and Urban Development and secretary of the Pennsylvania Department of Welfare, to the Philadelphia School Reform Commission.

“I have worked with Estelle in many capacities, and she is one of the most dedicated and qualified individuals I know,” said Governor Wolf. “Estelle’s experience is unmatched and her breadth of knowledge and grasp of a diverse array of policy issues make her a perfect fit for the School Reform Commission.”

“In only two years, I have worked with the legislature to begin to restore the funding that was cut from Philadelphia schools under the previous administration that resulted in mass layoffs and cuts to important areas like transportation, security, and janitorial services,” continued Governor Wolf. “Working with the legislature, I have secured more than $640 million additional for education at all levels, including $97 million that will go into Philadelphia classrooms. The school district is now back on more secure financial footing, but we have more work to do, and Estelle is a solid fit to help me continue my work toward a more robust public education system in Philadelphia that better trains our children for the next levels of education and to enter a modern workforce.”


Estelle Richman is currently involved with several national and local non- profit boards and she also recently worked with the transition teams of Governor Wolf and Mayor Kenney. Prior to her retirement, Estelle was the senior advisor to the secretary of Housing and Urban Development for health and human services issues. While at HUD she held the positions of Chief Operating Officer and Acting Deputy Secretary. Estelle was appointed secretary of the Pennsylvania Department of Public Welfare by Governor Ed Rendell in 2003 and held that position for seven years. Previously, she also served as the managing director for the City of Philadelphia and the director of Social Services. Other positions held by Estelle include the City of Philadelphia’s commissioner of Public Health and deputy commissioner for Mental Health, Mental Retardation and Substance Abuse Services. Estelle is a nationally recognized expert on issues of behavioral health and children’s services. Estelle received her master’s degree from Cleveland State University. Following her master’s degree, she obtained certification as a school psychologist and was licensed in Ohio. Estelle has Honorary doctorate degrees from Alvernia University and Drexel University.

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