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Leadership and Governance

"We, the members of the Massachusetts Dental Society, declare ourselves a Society to cultivate the science and art of dentistry, and all its collateral branches; to elevate and sustain the professional character of dentists, to promote dental health through all mediums available, and to protect the public interest in dental matters; and have adopted for our government the following Constitution and Bylaws." - MDS Constitution & Bylaws

Run for Office

The MDS House of Delegates elects the following MDS Officer positions:

  • Vice President—This position will serve a two-year term and is elected at the House of Delegates every odd year. (This is followed by a two- term as President and a one-year term as Immediate Past President)
  • Secretary—This position will serve a two-year term and is elected at the House of Delegates every odd year.
  • Speaker of the House—This position will serve a two-year term and is elected at the House of Delegates every even year.
  • Treasurer—This position will serve a two-year term and is elected at the House of Delegates every even year.

If you are interested in applying for these positions, your District must submit the following information in the Candidate Information Packet to the MDS Secretary for your candidacy.

  • A completed application
  • A District letter of support 
  • A personal statement explaining why you feel you would be a good candidate for the position  
  • An updated CV

Candidates running for the position of Vice President will also need a position paper explaining why they feel they are a good candidate for the position and outlining their vision for the future of the MDS.

If you have any interest in running for an MDS Officer position, contact Colleen Chase, director, governance and operations.

Board and Executive Management


Task Forces

Learn more about the charges and responsibilities of each Task Force.

House of Delegates

Leadership and Governance Documents

MDS Staff

MDS Strategic Plan

Historical Statements to Members

March 22, 2021

A Message from MDS President Dr. MaryJane Hanlon:

Dear Colleagues,

On behalf of the Massachusetts Dental Society (MDS) Board of Trustees, I want to take a moment to reflect on our country’s grief over the horrific events that occurred last week in Atlanta. The loss of these eight lives is intolerable. At a time when we have all experienced so much loss over the past year and began to hope that change was indeed coming, this unspeakable tragedy serves as a reminder that Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (AAPI) have faced an increased risk of violent attacks every time they have left their homes since March 2020.

As your President, I recognize that I write this from a place of privilege and that I have not walked in others' shoes. My heart breaks knowing that my colleagues, friends, and students experience hate and discrimination directed toward them simply because of the color of their skin and their treasured ancestries. At the MDS, we need diversity not only in our membership, but also in our values, our perspectives, and our experiences. We need to learn together and from one another. I encourage everyone to spend some time reflecting on how we can collectively do better to make everyone feel welcome, respected, and heard. The MDS does not tolerate discrimination, of any kind, period.

As American Dental Association President Dr. Daniel J. Klemmedson recently wrote in an email to members, “I remind everyone that we are trusted health care professionals who should first strive to be compassionate citizens and good neighbors. That we should treat all people with decency and respect. That we should denounce every act of violence and incivility that sows division in our nation.” Here in Massachusetts, we must do the same. 

To our AAPI members and colleagues—please know that our hearts are with you. You will always have the support of the MDS. If you are experiencing discrimination or have suggestions on how to move these conversations forward, please reach out to me or a member of the MDS Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Task Force.

June 3, 2020

A message from MDS President Dr. Janis B. Moriarty and MDS President-Elect Dr. MaryJane Hanlon: 

Dear Colleagues, 

As a profession and an organization, we sometimes shy away from societal conversations happening around us. As dentists, we are often viewed as community leaders due to our frequent interaction with local residents. The recent death of George Floyd and the ensuing peaceful protests across the country and here in Massachusetts have shown that silence on the topic of racial justice only allows the status quo to continue. Leadership is needed on this issue from all walks of life, including dentistry, if we as a society are going to achieve the change that we need. 

The Massachusetts Dental Society (MDS) stands with members of our communities, including our dentists and patients, who face injustice and racism in their day-to-day lives. Unfortunately, racism continues to be pervasive throughout all levels of society. Social media posts and thoughts and prayers alone will not solve these problems. We must stand up and act.

To this date, the MDS admits that it has not done enough within our own organization and profession to ensure diversity and inclusivity. This failure does not go unrecognized, and that is why today, we are announcing a task force to develop a robust policy in this area and to assist with ongoing conversations with members regarding equity and racial justice. The task force will be charged with:

  • Developing a diversity and inclusion policy for the MDS and for District Dental Societies
  • Planning and coordinating conversations around race and social justice for members
  • Pursuing opportunities for diversity and inclusion training for MDS and District leaders

To quote ADA President Dr. Chad Gehani:

“This is the moment to unravel from whatever personal biases we may harbor. To become allies. To have the hard conversations. To listen to voices that have long gone unheard. To speak up for those who have been disenfranchised. To commit to empathy and understanding. To be forces for change. To be agents of harmony. To call out wrong when we see it. And to do what’s right when we can.”

We hope wounds from past injustices can be healed and change can prevent future pain.

Silence isn't an option anymore.