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December 06, 2023 Clouds | 29°F
The 193rd General Court of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts

Senator John F. Keenan Democrat - Norfolk and Plymouth

Photo of  John F. Keenan

State House

24 Beacon St.
Room 413-F
Boston, MA, 02133
(617) 722-1494

John was raised in Quincy, the fourth of seven children, and attended the Quincy Public Schools, graduating from North Quincy High School. He went to Harvard University, earning his way through by working in the athletic department equipment room and the Saturday overnight shift at the Boston Herald newspaper. John graduated with honors from Harvard in 1986, with a government concentration, and in 1989 graduated from Suffolk University Law School. A lifelong learner, in 2019, he graduated from the Harvard Kennedy School with a Master's Degree in Public Administration.

As an attorney, John worked first as a litigator, then as a public defender, followed by work combating insurance fraud. He is admitted to practice in all Massachusetts State Courts, the Federal District Court for the District of Massachusetts, the Federal First Circuit Court of Appeals, and the United States Supreme Court.

John served as Executive Secretary/Chief of Staff to former Quincy Mayor Jim Sheets, overseeing 22 municipal department heads and Quincy’s financial matters, including the budget. Shortly after, he served as Executive Director of the Norfolk County Retirement System, a public pension system with approximately 10,000 active and retired members, and assets of over $500 million.

John was appointed to the Quincy City Council in 2003, and was elected Councilor at Large the following year. He served as Chair of the Council’s Finance Committee for eight years, and in 2010 was elected to the State Senate, where he proudly serves his hometown of Quincy, as well as Abington, Braintree, Hanover, Holbrook, and Rockland. In the Senate, John has advocated for his district and has spearheaded legislative responses to public health issues, such as tobacco reform, substance use prevention, treatment and recovery, and mental health treatment access.


John resides in Quincy with his wife, Jeanne Hopkins. They have three sons.

Personal Information




Jeanne Marie



Career Highlights

  • Sworn in as State Senator, January 5, 2011
  • Senate Chair, Joint Committee on Mental Health and Substance Abuse 2011 - 2013
  • Senate Chair, Joint Committee on Public Health, 2013-2015
  • Senate Chair, Senate Committee on Bonding, Capital Expenditures and State Assets 2015 - 2019
  • Senate Chair, Senate Committee on Post Audit and Oversight, 2019-2020
  • Senate Chair, Joint Committees on Housing, 2021 - 2023
  • Senate Chair, Joint Committee on Election Laws, 2023 - present
  • Senate Vice Chair, Joint Committees on Judiciary, Transportation, Housing and Mental Health, Substance Use and Recovery

Education & Public Service

  • North Quincy High School
  • Harvard University, B.A., Government Concentration, 1986
  • Suffolk University Law School, J.D. 1989
  • Harvard University, Master of Public Administration, 2019
  • Chief of Staff/Executive Secretary to the Mayor, City of Quincy, 1997 – 2001
  • Executive Director, Norfolk County Retirement System, 2001 – 2011
  • Quincy City Councilor at Large, 2003 – 2012
  • Chair, Quincy City Council Finance Committee, 2004 - 2012; Liaison, Quincy City Council to Veteran's Council