Christine, Aidan, Sophie and Jeff Thielman
Jeff Thielman
Created The Center for the Working Child in Peru - serving thousands of children and families
Practiced Law
Established dozens of schools across the nation in urban, underserved areas
As President of Spy Pond Association, helped to secure $1 million in funds to improve park.
Elected five times to Arlington School Committee, worked to keep clear focus on improving teaching and learning for all members of the school community.



Elected and Community Service


Jeff Thielman was first elected to the Arlington School Committee in 2003 and has served on Town Meeting since 2001. He has chaired the School Committee twice and chaired and served on each of its subcommittees. He and his wife, Christine, a writer at Dana Farber Institute in Boston, have three children in the Arlington Public Schools.

Jeff chairs the High School Building Committee, which is overseeing the rebuild of AHS in partnership with the Massachusetts School Building Authority (MSBA). As a member of the School Enrollment Task Force, he worked to convert the Gibbs facility into a new 6th grade school and helped secure town support to expand the Thompson and Hardy Elementary Schools.

He has volunteered for and helped organize several debt exclusion and override campaigns in Arlington. If re-elected to the School Committee, a major focus of his work in the coming term will be to encourage voters to pass both an operating override for town and school needs and a debt exclusion for the high school. Both questions are expected to be before the voters in the spring of 2019.

Since 2015, Jeff has been the President and CEO of the International Institute of New England (IINE), one of the oldest and largest human services organizations for new Americans in the region. Operating in Massachusetts and New Hampshire, IINE provides resettlement, case management, skills training, and educational programs to 2,000 refugees and immigrants each year. Jeff has been a leader in the effort to protect immigrants' rights and to ensure the U.S. continues to welcome refugees and other people fleeing persecution.

From 1998 to 2015, Jeff played a leading role in the growth of the Cristo Rey schools, college prep high schools with an integrated work-study program that exclusively serve urban communities. Jeff was on the leadership team of the first school in the country, managed the national scale-up of the schools, and served as President of Cristo Rey Boston High School in Dorchester. There are now 32 Cristo Rey schools in 21 states serving more than 11,000 young people. Jeff gained extensive experience in school management during his time with the Cristo Rey movement.

Early in his professional career, Jeff was a trial attorney in Boston and worked in the financial services industry. Between college and law school, he spent three years as a Jesuit International Volunteer in Tacna, Peru, where he was a teacher and founder of a program for street children that has been replicated in several cities in Peru. He is co-author of Volunteer: With the Poor in Peru, holds undergraduate and law degrees from Boston College, and is fluent in Spanish.


His book, Volunteer: With the Poor in Peru (Paulist Press, 1991), details the founding of the project.  To obtain Jeff’s book, please visit


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