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Press Release Governor Charlie Baker Announces Kristen Lepore As New Chief of Staff, Appoints Michael Heffernan as A&F Secretary

For immediate release:
  • Governor Charlie Baker | Lt. Governor Karyn Polito

Media Contact for Governor Charlie Baker Announces Kristen Lepore As New Chief of Staff, Appoints Michael Heffernan as A&F Secretary

William Pitman

BOSTON — Today at a press conference from the Massachusetts State House, Governor Charlie Baker announced that Chief of Staff Steven Kadish will be leaving the Administration and will be succeeded by Secretary of Administration and Finance Kristen Lepore. Governor Baker also announced the appointment of Michael J. Heffernan, the current Commissioner of the Department of Revenue, to be the next Secretary of Administration and Finance. 

Kadish, 60, joined the Baker-Polito Administration during the 2015 transition and served as Chief of Staff  for two and a half years.  During his time at the helm, Kadish has been recognized for his strong leadership skills and deep knowledge of state government that have resulted in notable progress for some of the administration’s biggest initiatives, such as reforming  the MBTA and establishing cultural reforms and transformations at the Department of Children and Families.

"Our administration and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts have benefited tremendously from having Steve Kadish serve our administration over the past two and a half years and he will be sorely missed," said Governor Baker.  "Steve is a natural leader and known problem-solver who will stop at nothing to do the right thing.  His warmth, his collaborative spirit, his sense of humor, and especially his determined focus on the people we serve each and every day, have made the Commonwealth a better place for everyone and we wish him the best in his future endeavors.

"What a true honor and a deep privilege it has been to serve this Governor, Lt. Governor, and the Commonwealth in this special capacity,” said Kadish.  “I am continually humbled and grateful to work with Governor Baker who takes this responsibility so seriously with an indefatigable work ethic, intelligence and balance in service to our communities and to especially those who have less. I am confident that Secretary Lepore’s experience, wisdom and balance will support this administration in their service to the Commonwealth.”

Secretary Kristen Lepore joined the administration in 2015 and led the administration through the development of three  budgets  to bring fiscal responsibility to the Commonwealth while securing investments in public education, and infrastructure while delivering tax breaks to working families. Lepore and her team also worked collaboratively with legislators to close an inherited one billion dollar structural deficit, despite stagnant state tax revenue growth over the same period of time.

"As Secretary Lepore takes the reins, I am confident she will continue to be a driving force behind this administration’s most important successes.  Her  knowledge of every aspect of state government and thoughtfulness made her a great Secretary, and will make her a highly effective Chief of Staff," continued Governor Baker.  "With her transition, I am pleased to appoint Commissioner Michael J. Heffernan as the new Secretary of Administration and Finance to continue the fiscally responsible practices in place now, while pursuing the investments  necessary to make every community a great place to live and work.”

 "Steve Kadish is a devoted public servant and has done an incredible job serving the governor's office and supporting our talented cabinet in our efforts to make Massachusetts the best place to live and work," said Lt. Governor Polito.  "He has left his mark on some of our biggest initiatives to make state government work better for our residents, and his kindness and passion will be missed by all.  We are thrilled to welcome Secretary Lepore into this role, and are confident she will hit the ground running to continue collaborating and working hard to support our team and the interests of the Commonwealth."

“Serving the people of Massachusetts is an honor and doing it alongside the Governor and Lieutenant Governor is tremendously rewarding. It was a dream come true to lead the Executive Office for Administration and Finance as Secretary, but I am grateful for the chance to once again move ‘down the hall’ to serve in my new role,” said Lepore. “I have learned a lot from working with Steve and will miss his daily presence but I will always value his friendship and professional advice. I am so incredibly honored to be following in his footsteps.”

“It has been an honor to work as the administration’s Commissioner for the Department of Revenue over the last fifteen months, and I am deeply humbled by the opportunity to continue working with the first-class team Secretary Lepore assembled in the Executive Office for Administration and Finance,” said Heffernan. “I am pleased to be succeeded at the Department of Revenue by Chris Harding, who is an exceptional manager with a firm grasp of what it will take to continue leading the Department’s talented staff.”

Chris Harding, the current Chief of Staff at the Department of Revenue, will become the Department’s Commissioner. All leadership changes will be effective August 14th.

About Secretary Kristen Lepore:

Kristen Lepore was sworn in as Secretary of the Executive Office for Administration and Finance (A&F) under Governor Charlie Baker in January 2015.  In her role, Secretary Lepore is in charge of formulating the governor’s budget plan, providing guidance on the economy, and implementing state government’s operating and capital budgets.  She also manages the state's administrative agencies, including revenue collection, information technology, human resources, procurement, and state facilities. 

During her A&F tenure, Secretary Lepore has focused on bringing the state’s operating budget into structural balance by significantly reducing the use of one-time revenue, while building the state’s reserves, holding the line on new taxes and fees, and investing in critical priorities including local aid, education, substance misuse, workforce development and housing, and transportation. She has also reformed the Commonwealth’s capital investment plan to ensure a focus on maintaining and modernizing assets while targeting new investments, and she led the administration’s review of all Executive Branch regulations.

Prior to joining A&F, Secretary Lepore was Vice President of Government Affairs at Associated Industries of Massachusetts (AIM).  As Vice President, she was responsible for AIM’s health care agenda and advocated for policies to lower the cost of health care in Massachusetts.  She also worked on education and workforce development issues on behalf of the association. 

Immediately prior to joining AIM, she served as Policy Director on Charlie Baker’s 2010 gubernatorial campaign.  In addition, she was appointed by President Bush to serve as the New England regional representative for the U.S. Department of Education where she advocated the President’s education agenda.  Prior to her federal appointment, she served as Deputy Chief of Staff to Governor Paul Cellucci; Director of Fiscal Policy for the Executive Office for Administration and Finance and Assistant Executive Director of the Massachusetts Port Authority.

Secretary Lepore holds a bachelor’s degree in political science from Suffolk University and a master’s degree in public administration from Suffolk’s Sawyer School of Management.

About Commissioner Michael Heffernan:

Michael J. Heffernan serves as the Commissioner of the Department of Revenue for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Commissioner Heffernan is responsible for administrating the tax, child support, and municipal finance laws of the Bay State.

Heffernan spent nearly two decades at Citigroup and its predecessor firm, Salomon Brothers as a managing director in its markets and banking division. He co-founded the tech startup Mobiquity in 2011, and previously worked with NatWest Markets and EF Hutton & Co.

Heffernan was candidate for Massachusetts state treasurer in 2014. He then served on Governor Charlie Baker’s transition team before being appointed to the Boards of MassPRIM and the MBTA Retirement fund in early 2015.

Heffernan holds a bachelor’s degree in economics from Georgetown University, an MBA in finance from New York University, and an MPA from the Harvard Kennedy School.

About Chris Harding:

Formerly Executive Vice President of Sales, Marketing and Business Development for Mobiquity, Inc, a Massachusetts based professional services firm focused on providing Enterprise Digital Consulting services to Fortune 1000 organizations, Mr. Harding can be characterized as a serial entrepreneur having either founded or been a key leader in a series of early and growth stage technology based firms.

In addition to formerly serving as President and CEO of Concordant, Inc. (North Chelmsford, MA – acquired by Arcadia in 2011) Mr. Harding has been a part of six other organizations in his 30 years in industry. The majority of his career has been spent in Massachusetts, including the past 18 years.

Mr. Harding’s responsibilities have consistently centered on driving his organization’s growth strategy highlighted through focused planning and execution. He is a proven leader with a long history of success having been a part of two IPO’s, raising venture capital on multiple occasions as well as other initiatives in direct support of his firm’s business objectives.

Mr. Harding is a graduate of Boston College and resides in Wellesley, MA with his wife of 24 years and their two children.

Mr. Harding serves on the Board of Laboure College in Milton, MA and formerly served on the Board of The Carney Hospital, Dorchester, MA for eight years.


Media Contact for Governor Charlie Baker Announces Kristen Lepore As New Chief of Staff, Appoints Michael Heffernan as A&F Secretary

Office of Governor Charlie Baker and Lt. Governor Karyn Polito 

Governor Charlie Baker, Lt. Governor Karyn Polito, and members of their administration are committed to making Massachusetts the best place to live, work, and raise a family.