Lepore Leaving Baker-Polito Administration; Buckley New Chief of Staff

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In full transparency, the following is a press release from the Baker-Polito administration submitted to SOURCE media.

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BOSTON – Today, March 31, Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker and Lt. Governor Karyn Polito announced the departure of Chief of Staff Kristen Lepore.

Senior Advisor Tim Buckley will be promoted to Chief of Staff effective April 15. Deputy Chief of Staff for Cabinet Affairs and Policy Director Elizabeth Mahoney will be promoted to Senior Advisor.

Lepore has served as Chief of Staff since August 2017, and in this role oversees the strategic development and coordination of the Executive Branch’s nine secretariats and its 42,000 employees.

As Chief of Staff, Lepore has managed the Administration’s response to high priority issues like the COVID-19 response and the Merrimack Valley gas explosions.

Previously, Lepore served the Baker-Polito Administration as the Secretary of Administration and Finance, where she was responsible for formulating and overseeing the Commonwealth’s operating and capital budgets.

“Since day one, Kristen has been a critical member of our administration and has led our Administration’s response to some of the biggest issues we have faced, including the COVID-19 pandemic. Kristen has always had a strong dedication to delivering results for the residents we serve, and diving into difficult policy details to make sure the job is done right. She will be missed tremendously, and I wish her all the very best,” said Governor Charlie Baker. “Tim Buckley has served as an integral advisor and dedicated member of our team for several years, and I am proud to announce him as Chief of Staff. Tim’s deep experience in all facets of state government make him the right person to serve as the next chief.”

“Kristen has expertly managed complex challenges throughout her time in our administration, always focusing on how we can best respond to the needs of the residents of Massachusetts. Kristen has served our Administration and the Commonwealth incredibly well over the past seven years, and we will miss her,” said Lt. Governor Karyn Polito. “Tim’s wealth of expertise in communications, legislative affairs and helping manage challenging issues like the COVID-19 public messaging strategy will be tremendous assets as he serves as Chief of Staff.”

“I am very proud of all the work that the Baker-Polito Administration has done since taking office, including developing a nation-leading response to the COVID-19 pandemic, closing a structural budget gap and making record investments in education and transportation. I am immensely grateful to Governor Baker and Lt. Governor Polito for the opportunity to serve the Administration,” said Lepore. “I have worked closely with Tim throughout my time as chief to respond to the most pressing issues facing the Commonwealth. I am confident that Tim will be an excellent Chief of Staff and is the right person to lead the Administration’s efforts in the months ahead.”

“Governor Baker and Lieutenant Governor Polito assembled an accomplished team of public servants working every day to make Massachusetts a better place and Kristen has been both a critical member and leader of that team. Whether it be Secretary, Chief of Staff, motivator, teacher, colleague or friend, Kristen sets a high bar that few can match,” said Buckley.  “I am excited for the opportunity to advance the mission this Governor and this Administration has carried out since day one: making government work better for every person in the Commonwealth.”

“I am very grateful for the opportunity to continue serving the Baker-Polito Administration as Senior Advisor,” said Mahoney. “Governor Baker and Lt. Governor Polito have set the tone for the administration to focus on the work, and Kristen and Tim have both been excellent examples of how to follow that charge.” 

As Chief of Staff, Lepore has managed the Administration’s COVID-19 pandemic response, including developing the pandemic response command structure, advising the development and implementation of the vaccination program, and overseeing the reopening process of the Commonwealth’s economy. Lepore also led the adaptation of state government to continue services to residents, oversaw the Executive Branch’s transition to remote/hybrid work environments, and executed the Executive Branch’s employee vaccine requirement.

During the Merrimack Valley gas explosions, Lepore oversaw a three-month utility restoration and humanitarian relief effort for approximately 8,000 residents and over 5,000 response workers.

Lepore has helped lead reforms to programs, services and agencies across state government as chief. She has overseen the daily operations of the Office of the Governor, including personnel, communications, legislative, boards and commissions, operations, cabinet relations, access and opportunity and constituent services.

As Secretary of Administration and Finance, Lepore oversaw the state’s administrative agencies consisting of more than 2,700 employees for tax revenue collection, information technology, health insurance, human resources, procurement and state facilities. Lepore led several transformative initiatives including the retirement of over 2,400 executive branch employees through an early retirement program. As Secretary, Lepore closed an inherited billion-dollar budget gap while building the state’s stabilization fund, cutting taxes and reforming agencies and programs including managing MassHealth spending growth while making critical investments in local aid, substance misuse, education, and transportation.

Prior to being named Chief of Staff, Buckley served as Senior Advisor for Governor Baker and Lieutenant Governor Polito for the past five years.

In that role, Buckley was responsible for communications strategy, legislative affairs and federal affairs for the Executive Branch, as well as advising the Governor and Lieutenant Governor on a wide range of policy issues. Upon taking office in 2015, Governor Baker named Buckley as Communications Director where he served as the spokesman for the administration and directed communication strategy across state government.

He served as Communications Director for Baker’s successful 2014 campaign and played a senior role in Baker’s transition. He started his career serving in communications posts for political organizations in Massachusetts including the Massachusetts Republican Party.

Buckley is a graduate of Colorado College and a lifelong Massachusetts resident. He lives in Boston with his wife and two daughters.

editor

email: editor@FraminghamSource.com call or text at 508-315-7176


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