State House News

Healey Adds Hao, Snyder To Developing Cabinet

Source: State House News Service
Author: Colin A. Young

One day before she is to be sworn into office, Gov.-elect Maura Healey continued to flesh out her Cabinet by naming her secretaries of economic development and of technology services and security, but major administration roles remain unfilled by Healey, who has also not appointed a communications team.

Yvonne Hao, Healey’s pick to lead the Executive Office of Economic Development, co-founded and held top roles at the investment firm Cove Hill Partners and was an operating partner at Pillar Ventures. She also served as chief operating officer and chief financial officer for PillPack, an online pharmacy that was acquired by Amazon in 2018, and previously worked at Bain Capital and McKinsey & Company.

In an anticipated reorganization proposal, Healey plans to split the existing Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development into two distinct Cabinet posts, and on Wednesday said that Hao will be the first woman and person of color to lead the state’s chief economic development secretariat. Healey made housing a major platform of her campaign but has not yet named her secretary of housing.

“Massachusetts is a national leader in the innovation economy, and the next Secretary of Economic Development has an opportunity to not only maintain that leadership role, but also grow our economic competitiveness,” Hao said.

Last month, Healey told GBH Radio that in addition to assembling her Cabinet and administration, her “top priorities are affordability and making sure that Massachusetts is a place where if you live here, you can stay here; if you come here to study or to work, you can stay here; if you’re an employer here or a business here, you can stay here and grow here.”

Hao has been active in the Bay State business community, serving on the boards for CarGurus, Flywire, Gentherm, ZipRecruiter and Bose. She is also vice chair of the board of trustees of Beth Israel Lahey Health, and is a trustee emerita for Williams College, her alma mater. Hao lives in Williamstown and Cambridge.

Jason Snyder, tapped Wednesday to run the Executive Office of Technology Services and Security, has spent about 10 years at Harvard University, serving as its chief technology officer since 2015. He has some familiarity with state government, though — he was chief technology officer for Massachusetts throughout Gov. Deval Patrick’s two terms in office, the Healey team said.

Before that, he worked 13 years at CSC Consulting Group. Snyder graduated from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and lives in Reading.

Gov. Charlie Baker in 2017 created the Executive Office of Technology Services and Security (and its corresponding Cabinet secretary position) based on the former Massachusetts Office of Information Technology.

“The Commonwealth of Massachusetts does incredible work day in and day out to deliver critical services to residents, but we need to make sure that everyone is able to access those services,” Snyder said. “I’m honored to have the opportunity to serve in the Healey-Driscoll Administration and look forward to the work ahead to make sure that our technology is resilient, secure and accessible to all.”

Cybersecurity has been a growing focal point for state government in recent years, especially since the COVID-19 pandemic changed the ways that businesses operate and people interact, leading to even greater reliance on digital technologies but also opening up opportunities for cybercriminals. Last month, Baker signed an executive order to create the Massachusetts Cyber Incident Response Team, tasked with preparing for, responding to and recovering from cybersecurity threats at a time when officials say public agencies are facing heightened risks online.

Healey has still not built out her entire Cabinet and major posts are still unfilled, including the positions overseeing health and human services, public safety and security, housing, and labor and workforce development.

Here is the Cabinet that Healey has so far announced: Matt Gorzkowicz as secretary of administration and finance, Patrick Tutwiler as education secretary, Gina Fiandaca as transportation secretary, Rebecca Tepper as secretary of energy and environmental affairs, Melissa Hoffer as a Cabinet-level climate chief, Hao as economic development secretary, and Snyder as secretary of technology services and security.