After fourteen years on Beacon Hill representing the 10th Middlesex District, Peter J. Koutoujian was sworn in as Middlesex Sheriff on January 21, 2011 by Governor Deval Patrick.
Upon becoming Sheriff, Koutoujian hit the ground running, utilizing his experience in the law and public sector to implement multiple new programs and policies affecting both employees and inmates alike. He created inmate vocational courses in janitorial services and print shop design, adding more possibilities for the men in his custody to gain essential job skills and become productive citizens upon release.
Sheriff Koutoujian also instituted progressive new policies designed to increase camaraderie among the hardworking men and women of the Middlesex Sheriff's Office and increase public confidence in this historic department. Some changes include: a policy that prevents employees from donating to the Sheriff's political campaign and mandates campaign political finance education classes for all employees; an in-house newsletter; Employee of the Month program and many others.
As a State Representative elected in 1996, Koutoujian held several leadership positions, including Chairman of the Joint Committee on Financial Services, Chairman of the Joint Committee on Public Health and Chairman of the Commission to End Racial and Ethnic Health Disparities. He was instrumental in crafting the historic universal health insurance reform law, the statewide workplace smoking ban and legislation about new school nutrition guidelines. A staunch public safety advocate, Koutoujian led efforts for victims rights and suicide prevention.
A lawyer by trade, Koutoujian served as a Middlesex County prosecutor before being elected to the Massachusetts Legislature. He has worked as an adjunct professor of Criminal Law, Criminal Procedure and Legal Ethics at the Massachusetts School of Law in Andover, and taught a course on American Government at Bentley University in Waltham. He is a frequent guest lecturer at Harvard School of Public Health, Boston University School of Public Health and Northeastern University.
Sheriff Koutoujian is a graduate of Bridgewater State University and the New England School of Law. He also earned a Masters Degree in Public Affairs from the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.
Sheriff Koutoujian is a lifelong resident of Waltham, where he is very active in the community. He serves on the boards of several local organizations, including the West Suburban Samaritans, the Waltham and Newton Boys & Girls Clubs, REACH Beyond Domestic Violence and the Newton Community Service Center.
In the spring of 2011 Sheriff Koutoujian's community service work and devotion to heritage earned him the prestigious Ellis Island Medal of Honor. This national award is given annually to outstanding American citizens from all walks of life who have distinguished themselves through significant contributions to this country and embody the patriotic values of our nation.
Peter lives in Waltham with his wife, Elizabeth and their three children, Peter, Christian and Isabel.