The University of Massachusetts Amherst

Kristen Keel ’88

In June 2006, Kristen Keel retired from her position as vice president for financial planning and analysis at Harvard Pilgrim Health Care in Wellesley, Massachusetts. While in that role, she helped clean up the health plan's books, reformed its business processes and established a "credible 2000 budget to allow us to get out of receivership." Her diligent attention allowed Harvard Pilgrim to turn its fortunes around, earning about $36 million in 2002. In 2004, Kristen was selected by the Boston Business Journal as one of Boston’s 40 business people under 40.

Prior to her success at Harvard Pilgrim, Keel served as the undersecretary for the Executive Office of Administration and Finance for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. The road to this position started at UMass Amherst. In 1991 Kristen was working on her master’s degree. The Commonwealth was in a fiscal crisis when she resolved to volunteer at the Executive Office of Administration and Finance to experience government functioning from the trenches. She worked as a capital budget analyst. "I decided, what better way to write my thesis?" she says. Her thesis project led to an eight-year stretch in state government, first as director of finance within the Budget Bureau and then as undersecretary. She left in 1999 to join Harvard Pilgrim to sort out another financial crisis.

Keel is happily retired and spends her time traveling, building furniture and renovating her 1950s colonial home. She and her husband, Tom Todorow, reside in suburban Philadelphia.