Governor's Cabinet

Governor Baker and Lt. Governor Polito have assembled an experienced, diverse, and bipartisan team of professionals who approach their mission to make Massachusetts great with passion and thoughtfulness. The members of the cabinet share the priorities of the Baker-Polito Administration, and are tasked with overseeing their respective agencies and developing policies and initiatives to advance the Administration’s agenda.

Table of Contents

Rosalin Acosta, Labor and Workforce Development

Secretary Rosalin Acosta
Secretary Rosalin Acosta

Rosalin Acosta is a widely respected financial and banking service professional with over 30 years of experience in Greater Boston financial institutions, most recently as Senior Vice President and Managing Director for Enterprise Wealth Management at Enterprise Bank in Lowell, where she oversaw the operations of the bank’s Wealth Management and Brokerage divisions since 2013. Acosta has also worked in senior executive roles at TD Bank and Sovereign Bank (now Santander). Acosta serves in many community and civic capacities, including as a Board Member of The Boston Foundation, a Board Overseer at Boston Children’s Hospital since 2009, where she was a founding member of Milagros Para Ninos, and a 14-year Member of the Boston Chapter of the Association of Latino Professionals For America (ALPFA). Acosta is a Director and Planning Member of the Merrimack Valley Workforce Investment Board and was appointed a Northern Essex Community College Trustee by Governor Baker in 2016. Acosta has been named one of Boston’s Most Influential Women by the Women of Harvard Club in 2014, where she serves on the Leadership Committee, and El Planeta’s Top 100 Most Influential Hispanics in Massachusetts for three consecutive years. Born in Cuba, Acosta earned a Bachelor of Arts from Wesleyan University in Connecticut, where she was a member of the Women’s Varsity Ice Hockey Team. She is the proud mother of 5 children and an avid traveler, runner, and cyclist.

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Michael J. Heffernan, Administration & Finance

Secretary Michael J. Heffernan
Secretary Michael J. Heffernan

Michael J. Heffernan joined Governor Charlie Baker's cabinet as Secretary of the Executive Office for Administration and Finance in August 2017. In his role, Secretary Heffernan is in charge of formulating the governor’s budget plan, providing guidance on the economy, and implementing the state government’s $40 billion operating and $2 billion capital budgets.Secretary Heffernan also manages numerous state administrative agencies, including the Department of Revenue (tax administration and economic forecasting), the Human Resources Division (talent recruitment and management), the Group Insurance Commission (employee and retiree health insurance), the Operational Services Division (procurement), and the Department of Capital Asset Management and Maintenance (state facilities).

Mike previously served as Commissioner of the Department of Revenue for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, where he was responsible for administrating tax, revenue collection, child support, and municipal finance laws.

Following his campaign for Massachusetts state treasurer in 2014, Mike served on Governor Charlie Baker’s transition team and was appointed to the boards of Massachusetts Pension Reserves Investment Management Board (PRIM) and the MBTA Retirement Fund in early 2015.

In the private sector, Mike spent nearly two decades in increasingly senior roles at Citigroup and its predecessor firm, Salomon Brothers, as a managing director in its markets and banking division. He previously served as a Vice President in capital markets at NatWest Markets and EF Hutton & Co. Most recently, he co-founded the Massachusetts tech startup Mobiquity in 2011.

Mike has been involved with a number of non-profits focused primarily on education and healthcare. He holds an MBA in finance from New York University, an MPA from the Harvard Kennedy School and a bachelor’s degree in economics from Georgetown University where he sits on the Georgetown College Board of Advisors and chairs the Georgetown Library Board.

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Mike Kennealy, Housing and Economic Development

Secretary Mike Kennealy
Secretary Mike Kennealy

As Secretary of Housing and Economic Development, Mike Kennealy is responsible for advancing the Baker-Polito Administration’s agenda to create economic opportunity for residents, collaborative leadership in communities, an environment that supports job creation and business growth, and new housing for residents through targeted investments.

In early 2015, Kennealy joined the Administration as Assistant Secretary for Business Growth. As Assistant Secretary, Kennealy played an integral role in advancing the administration’s strategy for job creation and business development across the entire Commonwealth and provided leadership in key sectors, including serving as co-chair of the board of the Massachusetts Life Sciences Center. 

Kennealy combines a successful track record in the private sector with a strong commitment to the public good. He began his career in private equity at TA Associates, a Boston-based firm. In 1997, he joined Spectrum Equity, a private equity firm founded in 1994 with offices in Boston and San Francisco. During his more than 15 years at Spectrum, he helped grow the firm to become an established market leader with nearly $5 billion in assets under management and investments in over 100 high-growth internet, software and information services companies. After his career in private equity, Kennealy spent two years as Special Advisor to the Receiver at Lawrence Public Schools, where he worked with the state-appointed superintendent/receiver on strategic and financial initiatives to support the school district’s turnaround plan.

Kennealy and his family live in Lexington, Massachusetts, where they have been highly involved in town government, education and youth sports. He has served on the Board of Trustees of St. John’s Prep in Danvers since 2009 and currently serves as Chairman, and he serves on the Board of Visitors for The Nelson A. Rockefeller Center for Public Policy and the Social Sciences at Dartmouth College.

Kennealy received a A.B. in Government from Dartmouth College and an M.B.A. from Harvard Business School.

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James Peyser, Education

Secretary James Peyser
Secretary James Peyser

As Secretary of Education, Jim Peyser directs the Executive Office of Education which is responsible for early education, K-12, and higher education in Massachusetts. Secretary Peyser sits on each of the boards governing the Commonwealth’s education agencies – Department of Early Education and Care, Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, the Department of Higher Education, and the University of Massachusetts system. He is Governor Baker’s top advisor on education and helps shape the Commonwealth’s education reform agenda.

Prior to his appointment as Secretary, he served as the Managing Director at NewSchools Venture Fund, a non-profit grant-making firm that seeks to transform public education in high-need urban communities by supporting innovative education entrepreneurs. From 1999 through 2006, Jim served as Chairman of the Massachusetts Board of Education. Prior to joining NewSchools, Secretary Peyser was Education Advisor to Governors Bill Weld, Jane Swift, and Mitt Romney, where he helped shape state policy regarding standards and assessments, school accountability, and charter schools. In 1995, he served as Under Secretary of Education and Special Assistant to the Governor Weld for Charter Schools.

He previously spent 7 years as Executive Director of the Pioneer Institute for Public Policy Research, where he helped to launch the Massachusetts Charter School Resource Center, which supported the development of the state’s first charter schools. Before joining Pioneer, Secretary Peyser held various positions at Teradyne, Inc., an electronic test equipment manufacturer in Boston. 

Secretary Peyser holds a Master of Arts in Law and Diplomacy from The Fletcher School (Tufts University) and a Bachelor of Arts from Colgate University.

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Stephanie Pollack, Transportation

Secretary Stephanie Pollack
Secretary Stephanie Pollack

The Massachusetts Department of Transportation is an integrated, multi-modal transportation agency composed of Highway, Rail and Transit, and Aeronautics Divisions, as well as a Registry of Motor Vehicles. The Department of Transportation is led by Secretary and CEO Stephanie Pollack, who also sits on the Board of the Massachusetts Port Authority. Pollack has been Secretary of Transportation and CEO of MassDOT since 2015.

As Secretary, Pollack has led efforts to establish project selection criteria and set investment priorities for a $13 billion, five-year capital plan that focuses on improving reliability for the traveling public by modernizing Massachusetts’ transportation assets. She has focused MassDOT on better serving its customers, with initiatives such as All-Electronic Tolling and reducing wait times at Registry of Motor Vehicles. Since July 2015, the leadership of the Massachusetts Bay Transit Authority (MBTA) has also reported to Secretary Pollack, giving her a critical role in steering the ongoing turnaround of the transit system serving eastern Massachusetts.

Before being named Secretary, Pollack worked on transportation policy, finance, and equity as Associate Director for Research at the Kitty and Michael Dukakis Center for Urban and Regional Policy at Northeastern University, where she has also served as an adjunct professor. Her academic work followed a distinguished legal career at the Conservation Law Foundation in Boston. Pollack also spent over a decade providing strategic guidance as a consultant on transportation, equity, and environmental issues to the public, private, and non-profit sectors, both nationally and locally.

Pollack received both a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering and a Bachelor of Science in Public Policy from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and a Juris Doctorate from Harvard Law School.

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Marylou Sudders, Health and Human Services

Secretary Marylou Sudders
Secretary Marylou Sudders

Appointed by Governor Charlie Baker, Secretary of Health & Human Services Secretary Marylou Sudders' leads the largest executive agency in state government, overseeing a $22 billion state budget, twelve agencies and 22,000 public servants. EOHHS services directly touch the lives of slightly more than 1 in 4 residents of the Commonwealth. Sudders' responsibilities include the state’s MassHealth (Medicaid) program that provides health coverage to 1.9 million low income or disabled residents, chairing the board of the state’s health care marketplace (The Connector), the Autism Commission, and the Center for Health Information and Analysis (CHIA) Oversight Council. She also co-chairs the Governor’s Interagency Council on Homelessness and the state’s first Governor’s Council to Address Aging in Massachusetts. Sudders is leading the Commonwealth’s efforts to address the opioid epidemic and efforts to reform and strengthen the Department of Children and Families.  

Professionally trained as a social worker, Sudders has been a public official, private non-profit executive, advocate and college professor. She served as the Massachusetts Commissioner of Mental Health from 1996 to 2003.  Prior to her appointment as Secretary, Sudders was an associate professor and chaired the health/mental health program at Boston College’s Graduate School of Social Work. She also served as behavioral health expert with the Department of Justice.

She has been recognized by top business, social work, and civic organizations, including the Boston Chamber of Commerce, Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation, Eastern Bank’s Social Justice Award and from the National Association of Social Work.

Sudders is an alumna of Boston University with a Bachelor’s degree with honors and a Master’s degree in social work, and received an honorary doctorate from the Massachusetts School of Professional Psychology.  Believing in community service, she has served on many charitable boards including the Pine Street Inn, DentaQuest Foundation, Massachusetts Association for Mental Health, and the National Alliance on Mental Illness.

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Kathleen A. Theoharides, Energy and Environmental Affairs

Secretary Kathleen A. Theoharides
Secretary Kathleen A. Theoharides

Secretary Kathleen A. Theoharides oversees the Commonwealth's six environmental, natural resource and energy regulatory agencies, which include the Departments of Environmental Protection, Public Utilities, Energy Resources, Conservation & Recreation, Agricultural Resources, and Fish & Game. Secretary Theoharides also serves as Chairman of the Massachusetts Water Resources Authority, the Energy Facilities Siting Board, and the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center.

Trained as a field biologist, Secretary Theoharides began her policy career working in Washington, D.C. at the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition and Defenders of Wildlife. During her time in D.C., Secretary Theoharides worked on the federal farm bill and conservation policy, and helped establish a national program that partnered with federal and state agencies to incorporate climate change adaptation into policy, budgets, and planning. After returning to Massachusetts, she served as the Executive Director of the Hilltown Land Trust, and founded Theoharides Consulting which provided climate and environmental policy analysis, strategic planning, and facilitation to universities, government agencies and non-profits.

Secretary Theoharides joined the Baker-Polito Administration in 2016 as Director of Climate and Global Warming Solutions in the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs. As Director and later Assistant Secretary, Secretary Theoharides guided the development and implementation of the Administration’s efforts to safeguard Massachusetts from the impacts of climate change, support cities and towns, and coordinate efforts across state government to reduce emissions and adapt to the impacts of climate change.  She worked to implement Executive Order 569, led the development of the State Hazard Mitigation and Climate Adaptation Plan and created the Municipal Vulnerability Preparedness program, working to grow the program to reach 50 percent of cities and towns in the Commonwealth in less than 3 years. Secretary Theoharides was promoted to Undersecretary in 2019, and continued to lead the Commonwealth’s efforts on climate change, including working to strengthen regional and national coalitions focused on bipartisan state climate leadership including the United States Climate Alliance and the Transportation Climate Initiative.

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Thomas Turco, Public Safety and Security

Thomas A. Turco, III began his career as a probation officer at the Florida Department of Correction in 1988. Over the course of his career he served in multiple counties and was promoted in 2003 to Chief Probation Officer of Worcester Superior Court, where he supervised the operations of the probation department for Worcester County. In this role, he developed and implemented policies, procedures and rules established by the Commissioner of Probation and the Trial Court. He also collaborated with community organizations and agencies to promote crime prevention and remediation. 

In 2015, he was appointed by Governor Charlie Baker to be Undersecretary of Criminal Justice in the Executive Office of Public Safety and Security. In this leadership position, he provided direction to the Department of Correction, Parole Board and the Sex Offender Registry Board while serving as a liaison to the County Sheriffs. 

On April 8, 2016 Governor Baker appointed Turco Commissioner of the Massachusetts Department of Correction, an agency that operates sixteen (16) correctional facilities, employs over 4,500 staff, and has an annual budget of $626 million and an inmate census of over 8,500 inmates.

On December 4, 2018, Governor Baker introduced Turco as incoming Secretary for the Executive Office of Public Safety and Security.

Secretary Turco holds a Master’s Degree in Criminal Justice Administration from Western New England College. He is a graduate of the Florida Commission on Criminal Justice Standards and Training Academy. He is also an active member of the American Correctional Association (ACA) and the Association of State Correctional Administrators (ASCA).

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Curtis M. Wood, Technology Services and Security

Secretary Curtis M. Wood
Secretary Curtis M. Wood

Secretary Curt Wood oversees the Executive Office of Technology Services and Security (EOTSS), whose mission is to provide secure and quality digital information, services, and tools to constituents and service providers when and where they need them. Governor Baker created EOTSS, formerly MassIT, in 2017 to standardize, centralize, and secure infrastructure and core services. In doing so, Governor Baker has advanced technological innovation, reduced the Commonwealth’s risk profile, and delivered better services to constituents, businesses, and institutions. 

Before joining EOTSS, Secretary Wood served in the Massachusetts Executive Office of Public Safety and Security (EOPSS) as the Undersecretary for Forensic Science and Technology and as Chief Information Officer. At EOPSS, Mr. Wood was responsible for providing strategic leadership and oversight to various EOPSS departments, including the Office of Technology and Information Services, the Department of Criminal Justice Information Services, and the State 911 Department.   

Secretary Wood has an established track record of public sector innovation, especially in using technology to improve service delivery. During his tenure at EOPSS, he directed the successful transition from the Commonwealth’s legacy E-9-1-1 system to the more advanced and robust Next Generation 9-1-1 platform, which enhanced public safety’s response to emergency calls for service. He also oversaw the multi-million dollar modernization of the state’s mission critical criminal justice information systems and services. 

Prior to his public safety role, Secretary Wood worked in the private sector as a senior business and technology consultant, where he led large public safety and justice information technology engagements across the United States. He has held several national Justice Information Sharing leadership roles, including sitting on the Board of Directors of the National Law Enforcement Telecommunications System (NLETS). 

Secretary Wood received his master’s in Criminal Justice Administration from Anna Maria College and a bachelor’s in Communications from Salem State College.

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