Gov.-Elect Baker Names Transition Team Chiefs

Gov.-elect Charlie Baker, along with Lt. Gov.-elect Karyn Polito, take questions after Election Day. (Robin Lubbock/WBUR)
Gov.-elect Charlie Baker, along with Lt. Gov.-elect Karyn Polito, take questions after Election Day. (Robin Lubbock/WBUR)

A former Democratic congressman, officials from former Gov. William Weld's administration and business leaders are among the people Gov.-elect Charlie Baker has tapped for his transition team.

Lt. Gov.-elect Karyn Polito, a former state representative, will chair the team. Jim Peyser, an advocate for charter schools and education reform who served as a special adviser to Gov. William Weld, is leading the transition team.

Gov.-elect Charlie Baker, along with Lt. Gov.-elect Karyn Polito, take questions Wednesday. (Robin Lubbock/WBUR)
Gov.-elect Charlie Baker, along with Lt. Gov.-elect Karyn Polito, take questions after Election Day. (Robin Lubbock/WBUR)

UMass Lowell Chancellor Marty Meehan, a former Democratic U.S. representative, will co-chair the transition team's advisory committee on schools with Beth Anderson, CEO of the Phoenix Charter Academy Network, which serves "at-risk" children in Chelsea and Lawrence.

Jay Ash, a Democrat who is Chelsea's city manager and slated to be Baker's housing and economic development chief, is one of three co-chairs of the committee on jobs and the economy.

The other two co-chairs are Karen Kaplan, the chairman and CEO of the advertising firm Hill Holliday, and Roger Crandall, chairman, president and CEO of the Springfield-based Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company.

Baker's "state of the state" transition committee will be co-chaired by Linda Carlisle, who served as commissioner of the Department of Social Services, now known as the Department of Children and Families, under Gov. Weld; Richard Taylor, Weld's former transportation secretary; and Michael O'Brien, executive vice president at Winn Companies and a former city manager of Worcester.

The state-of-state team will be tasked with taking a broad look at state government operations and several key areas, such as progress on the Health Connector's new exchange website that goes live Saturday.

The "better government" committee co-chairs include Stephen Goldsmith, a Harvard Kennedy School professor who served as the former mayor Indianapolis and deputy mayor of New York, and Steve Poftak, executive director of the Rappaport Institute at the Harvard Kennedy School and former research director at the Pioneer Institute for Public Policy Research.

Robert Lewis Jr., a nonprofit chief who worked for the late Boston Mayor Thomas Menino, and Chrystal Kornegay, president and CEO of the nonprofit Urban Edge in Roxbury, who also served as a member of Boston Mayor Marty Walsh's transition team, will co-chair the "community" transition committee.

The "human resources" committee of the transition team will be co-chaired by Deb Hicks, a senior vice president and chief human resources officer at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute who has also worked at Harvard Medical School and Harvard Pilgrim Health Care, and Danroy Henry, chief of human resources and corporate social responsibility at Bright Horizons, a childcare and early education provider. Henry previously worked at Fleet Boston Financial and Staples.


Outgoing Neighborhood Health Plan CEO Deb Enos and Southcoast Health System President and CEO Keith Hovan are chairing the "healthcare" committee. Hovan is also the chairman of the Yankee Alliance Supply Chain Solutions.

Additional transition committee members will announced in the coming weeks, the Baker camp said.

During his "Ask the Governor" segment Thursday on WGBH, Gov. Deval Patrick said Baker would have a "good platform" from which to launch his administration. "Much of government is continuing business that should continue without interruption or disruption as the leadership changes," Patrick said.

Patrick said his team is briefing Baker's advisers on the rollout of a new Massachusetts Health Connector insurance website, which he said was in "really good shape." The governor called the Department of Children and Families "new and improved," and said Baker would receive a balanced budget following efforts to erase a $325 million gap.

After campaigning aggressively for his rival, Democrat Martha Coakley, Patrick met briefly after the election with Baker, who Patrick beat in his 2010 re-election effort.

"We had our contest four years ago. This contest wasn't about him and me," Patrick said. "The campaign's over and it's got to be over. This whole business - you see a lot of it in Washington, the kind of perpetual campaigns that you have to hate the other person because they're not the party - I don't think you need to hate Republicans to be a good Democrat. I'm old-fashioned. The campaign is finished. It is important that the new administration succeed."

Patrick praised Baker and Coakley for talking to "everybody" during their campaigns and not just traditional partisan coalitions. The test for Baker, Patrick said, will be "whether having campaigned in a more open way the governor-elect actually continues to connect with people who are not as connected."

The governor also said he was worried that investments in infrastructure, which he said pave the way for economic growth, would slow given Baker's opposition to higher taxes or fees and passage of a ballot law repealing a 2013 law indexing the gas tax to inflation.

"The reality of governing, as opposed to the rhetoric of campaigning, are two different things," Patrick said.


This article was originally published on November 13, 2014.


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