Opening Ceremonies - Welcome from Massachusetts Governor
Charlie Baker, Governor of Massachusetts
Governor Charlie Baker was sworn in for a second term as the 72nd Governor of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts on January 3, 2019, after a first term focused on moving Massachusetts forward through bipartisan, results-driven leadership.
Since taking office, Governor Baker and Lt. Governor Karyn Polito have assembled a diverse team and put forth a ‘get stuff done’ approach to build a state government that is as thrifty, hard-working and creative as the people of Massachusetts.
Governor Baker has used public private partnerships to spur downtown and regional economic development, allowed small businesses to become more competitive in a dynamic economy through regulatory reform, and delivered critical tax relief to more than 400,000 hardworking individuals and their families through a doubling of the Earned Income Tax Credit. These efforts have helped the Massachusetts economy create more than 200,000 jobs since 2015 and led to more people working now than at any time in state history.
Ensuring Massachusetts continues to be a national leader in education, Governor Baker has signed four budgets featuring historic investments in K-12 education, increasing local Chapter 70 education aid by over $500 million, added 4,000 seats and supported $50 million in equipment upgrades to the state's vocational and technical schools, and expanded early college opportunities for high school students. Governor Baker also recognizes the difficulties the high costs of college create for students and families and has taken steps to make it more affordable to attend the state’s public colleges and universities including the Commonwealth Commitment program and expanded community college scholarship funding.
Over the course of his career, Governor Baker has been a highly successful leader of complex business and government organizations. As a cabinet secretary under Governors William Weld and Paul Cellucci, Governor Baker helped lead efforts to reform and modernize state government, turn a billion-dollar deficit into a surplus, create a half million jobs, and enact an ambitious education reform agenda.
During his time as Chief Executive Officer of Harvard Pilgrim Health Care, Governor Baker turned a company on the brink of bankruptcy into the nation's highest ranked health care provider for member satisfaction and clinical effectiveness for six straight years.
Raised in Needham, Governor Baker attended Massachusetts public schools and is a graduate of Harvard College. He went on to earn a Master of Business Administration from the Kellogg Graduate School of Management at Northwestern University, where he met his wife Lauren. The Bakers reside in Swampscott, have been heavily involved in numerous civic and charitable endeavors, and are the proud parents of their three children, Charlie, AJ, and Caroline.