Gretchen Morse

Gretchen Morse. Courtesy the Vermont Folklife Center.
Gretchen Morse. Courtesy the Vermont Folklife Center.

Time Period

1940 to Today

Notable Facts

Served as Secretary of the Vermont Agency of Human Services under Governor Madeleine Kunin. Representative to Vermont Legislature 1977-1985. Currently the Executive Director of the United Way of Chittenden County.

Personal Information

Date of Birth

11/17/1943

Primary Residence

Charlotte

Ethnicity

Caucasian

Historical Significance

Gretchen Morse served as Secretary of the Vermont Agency of Human Services under Governor Madeleine Kunin. She is currently the Executive Director of the United Way of Chittenden County.

Morse was born in Hyannis, Massachusetts and graduated from Colby Junior College in 1963. She gained administrative experience with the Polaroid Corp in Cambridge, Massachusetts and the Museum of Science in Boston. After moving to Vermont in 1971, she received her B.S. in Human Development from the University of Vermont (1975). She served four terms in the Vermont State Legislature as a Representative from 1977-1985. Morse was Chair of the Health and Welfare Committee (1983-1985) and Chair of the Education Committee (1981-1983). In 1985, she was appointed the Secretary of the Vermont Agency of Human Services by Governor Madeleine Kunin. This agency oversees mental health, social welfare, public health, corrections, and rehabilitation services. Morse was the only Cabinet secretary to remain on board throughout all of Governor Kunin's three term administration. In 1991, she became the Executive Director of the United Way of Chittenden County.

Morse has been a member of the Vermont Commission on Women, the Governor's Commission on Children and Youth, the Juvenile Justice Delinquency Prevention Advisory Group and the National Council of State Human Services Administrators. She serves on the Board of Directors of the Lake Champlain Regional Chamber of Commerce, the Board of Vermont Health Foundation, the Wake Robin Board of Directors and is a member of the Burlington Rotary Club. Morse received the Distinguished Service Award from the University of Vermont College of Education and Social Services in 1983.

Organizations or Movements

  • Lake Champlain Chamber of Commerce
  • National Council of State Human Services Administrators
  • Governor's Commission On the Status of Women
  • Juvenile Justice Delinquency Prevention Advisory Group
  • Governor's Commission on Children and Youth
  • Wake Robin Board of Directors
  • Burlington Rotary Club
  • Vermont Health Foundation
  • American Public Welfare Association

Occupations

  • Secretary of the Vermont Agency of Human Services
  • Vermont State representative
  • Director of the United Way of Chittenden County

Education

  • AA, Colby Junior College, (1963)
  • BS in Human Development, University of Vermont, Burlington, Vermont, (1975).

Additional Information (Bibliography)

  • Under the Golden Dome Link

  • The United Way of Chittenden County Link

  • Wake Robin Board of Directors Link

  • Cheng, Barbara. Trailblazers: Vermont Women and Leadership Development. Burlington, VT: Queen City Printers, 1988.

  • Allen, Susan. Six-Year Tenure Ending for Morse. Rutland Daily Herald 08Jan1991: 8.

  • Scagilotti, Lisa. United Way Director is Chosen. Burlington Free Press 10May1991: B1.

  • Slater, Elizabeth. New Human Services Chief a Born Humanist, Politician. Rutland Daily Herald 06Jan1985: 7.

Additional Images

Gretchen Morse
Gretchen Morse