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.
Rosalin Acosta, Labor and Workforce Development
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.
Jay Ash, Housing and Economic Development
Jay Ash serves as the Secretary of Housing and Economic Development for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Secretary Ash is responsible for directing and executing Governor Charlie Baker’s agenda on housing and community development, job creation, business development, consumer affairs, and business regulation. He previously served as the city manager in his native Chelsea, a position he held from 2000 to 2014. In Chelsea, Secretary Ash’s leadership produced both economic expansion and fiscal stability. He grew the city’s housing stock by over 10%, expanded its commercial base with 2 dozen major projects, led all Gateway Cities with a 15% increase in new employment, developed 10 new parks, secured 5 credit rating increases, and won 2 All-America City designations for Chelsea. Secretary Ash has led statewide initiatives on health insurance, youth violence, transportation infrastructure, and expanded gaming in Massachusetts. He previously served as co-founder and vice-chair of the Metropolitan Mayors Coalition, as past president of the Metropolitan Area Planning Council, as a board member of the public policy think tank MassINC, the staff director to the Massachusetts House Majority Leader, and as an elected trustee of his alma mater, Clark University.
Matthew A. Beaton, Energy and Environmental Affairs
Secretary Matthew A. Beaton oversees the Commonwealth's six environmental, natural resource, and energy regulatory agencies: the Departments of Environmental Protection, Public Utilities, Energy Resources, Conservation & Recreation, Agricultural Resources, and Fish & Game. He also serves as Chairman of the Massachusetts Water Resources Authority, the Energy Facilities Siting Board, and the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center.
Massachusetts was the first state in the nation to combine energy and environmental agencies under one Cabinet secretary with the shared mission of bringing clean energy technology to market, curbing greenhouse gas emissions, and cutting energy costs. Secretary Beaton is building on Massachusetts’ nation-leading clean energy and environment accomplishments.
Prior to his appointment to the cabinet post at Energy and Environmental Affairs, Secretary Beaton served as a State Representative for the Eleventh Worcester district. Elected in 2011, he was a member of the committees on Ways and Means; Environment, Natural Resources and Agriculture; and Ethics.
In the private sector, Secretary Beaton has worked as an environmental engineer and sustainability consultant. He is the former owner of Beaton Kane Construction, a green building and energy efficiency consulting company that focuses on building energy-efficient homes.
Beaton earned an undergraduate degree in biotechnology from Worcester Polytechnic Institute and a master's degree in energy and environmental analysis from Boston University. Secretary Beaton and his wife, Laura, live in Shrewsbury with their 2 young children.
Daniel Bennett, Public Safety and Security
Daniel Bennett was sworn in by Governor Charles Baker on Feb. 6, 2015 as Secretary of the Executive Office of Public Safety and Security. He brings with him a vast array of experience as a public servant in law enforcement with a reputation for fairness, innovation, and distinguished leadership to a job that requires oversight of 13 state public safety agencies responsible for law enforcement, criminal justice, forensic sciences, and homeland security.
Bennett, named Prosecutor of the Year 2013, was recruited by the Baker Administration from the Worcester County District Attorney’s Office where he served as Senior First Assistant. There, he oversaw all aspects of the office’s administration including personnel, finance, victim witness services, and assistant district attorneys. He held that position for 4 years. In Worcester County he prosecuted multiple murder cases. Prior to that appointment, he served 4 years as Senior Trial Counsel in the Middlesex County District Attorney’s Office and was principal advisor to the District Attorney on all personnel and policy making decisions and trial matters. That included prosecuting complex homicide cases involving DNA, computer forensics, and coordinating efforts to combat gang activities of such gangs as MS13, the Latin Kings, Asian Boys, and TRG. He honed these skills earlier in his career as ADA for the Suffolk District Attorney’s Office as a Gang Unit prosecutor.
Secretary Bennett has an all-encompassing perspective of the legal system, having served as a prosecutor, criminal defense counsel, and a clerk. He spent 11 years in private practice defending the accused, and 4 years as clerk.
Bennett earned his undergraduate degree from Harvard University and his law degree from Suffolk Law School, where he graduated Cum Laude.
Michael J. Heffernan, Administration & Finance
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.
Mark Nunnelly, Technology Services and Security
Mark Nunnelly heads the Commonwealth’s efforts to make Massachusetts a leader in secure, digital government. As Secretary of the Executive Office of Technology Services and Security, he oversees the office’s mission to connect state service providers and constituents with the best digital tools and secure services when and where they need them. He also leads the Commonwealth’s focus on enhanced cybersecurity and modern technology.
Joining the administration in 2015, Mark previously served the Commonwealth as Executive Director of the Office’s forerunner agency, the Massachusetts Office for Information Technology (MassIT), and as Commissioner of the Department of Revenue (DOR). He was also appointed by the Governor to serve as his Special Advisor for Innovation and Technology, providing strategic guidance and leadership to create and attract innovation companies to the State of Massachusetts.
In the private sector, he built an impressive track record helping organizations and companies succeed in Massachusetts and globally as Managing Director at Bain Capital, a leading Boston-based investment firm.
Mark has been deeply involved in supporting numerous local and national philanthropic projects with a particular focus on children, national service, and education. He received an M.B.A with Distinction from Harvard Business School, where he chairs the Dean’s Advisory Board, and a B.A. from Centre College, where he is Vice Chairman of the Board. He and his wife, Denise, live in Dover, Massachusetts, and together they have four adult children.
Jim Peyser, Education
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.
Stephanie Pollack, Transportation
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.
Marylou Sudders, Health and Human Services
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.