John Stephen for Executive Council

John Stephen, a dedicated public servant and innovative healthcare reformer, is running for Executive Council in New Hampshire’s fourth district. John is not only a leader in his professional life but also a devoted husband and father. He and his wife, Jenny have been married for over 29 years and are both lifelong residents of Manchester and proud parents to two daughters, Nicole, age 28, and Hannah age 27.

As the founder and managing partner of The Stephen Group, a nationally recognized management consulting firm, John has extensive experience in health and human services management and reform. John previously served as Commissioner of the New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) from 2003 to 2007, overseeing the state’s largest department. His leadership was marked by significant reforms in Medicaid, child welfare, and public health, which resulted in more effective and efficient service delivery. His initiatives, such as a nationally recognized Health Care Reform program, shifted Medicaid’s focus towards prevention and wellness and substantially increased home and community-based care placements for seniors, while reducing expensive nursing home placements by 11%. Under John’s leadership, New Hampshire consistently ranked first nationally in child welfare outcomes according to the National Kids Count survey. He also achieved a remarkable increase in the enrollment of low-income, uninsured children into state healthcare programs, while keeping Medicaid spending flat for his four year term and each year returning unspent dollars to the state’s general fund.

Bobby, Rob, Chuck, Shirley, and John Stephen
Bobby, Rob, Chuck, Shirley and John Stephen

Prior to his years as Commissioner of NH DHHS, John was the Deputy Commissioner of the NH Department of Safety, where assisted the Commissioner in the role of overseeing the NH State Police, Motor Vehicles, Fire Standards and Training, Emergency Management and Marine Patrol.   John also served as an Assistant Attorney General, where he prosecuted homicide cases and coordinated the statewide DWI/Vehicular Homicide response.  Before that, John also served as an Assistant Hillsborough County Attorney, where he prosecuted numerous misdemeanor and felony crimes.   

In his consulting career, John has led health care reform and government transformation projects across the United States, including reforms in Florida, Arkansas, Texas, Nebraska, and South Carolina. These projects have enhanced access to quality care, improved government systems, implemented cost-effective strategies, and identified fraud and waste.

John Stephen’s dedication to public and community service is also deeply rooted in his family history. His father, Bobby, owned and operated the Vault Restaurant in Manchester, where John worked as a youth, and then went on to become State Senator, where he was renowned for his strong commitment to serving his constituents and enhancing the community. Bobby’s non-profit, the Bobby Stephen Fund for Education, for years has given college scholarships to so many disadvantaged youth in NH.  John’s brother Chuck served in the United States Marines, and his brother Rob is a New Hampshire judge and attorney. Further back, John’s grandfather, Len, from his mother’s side, devoted his life to public service in Candia, where he served as the town’s Road Agent and was a volunteer fireman for many years.  This rich family tradition of public dedication and community care has profoundly influenced John, where he also was one of the original founders of the NH Veterans Count at Easter Seals and more recently founded NH’s All Youth Count, which is dedicated to helping NH Foster Care Youth reach independence. 

John holds a BA from the University of New Hampshire’s Whittemore School of Business and Economics, and a JD from the Detroit College of Law. With his deep expertise and proven leadership, John Stephen is committed to ensuring efficient and effective governance for the people of New Hampshire as a member of the Executive Council.

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