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Baker appoints advisory board to guide reopening of Mass. economy

Advisors will report back to the governor by May 18

Suzanne Kreiter/Globe staff

Governor Charlie Baker on Tuesday appointed a 17-member advisory board consisting of business executives, public health officials and municipal leaders to guide his administration with strategies for reopening the economy amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

The group will seek input from a variety of constituencies in the next three weeks to develop a report by May 18 that will include state Department of Public Health-approved workplace safety standards, industry protocols, and enforcement mechanisms. While the report is due on May 18, administration officials have made it clear that the timing of the reopening will be dictated by the public health data and guidance from healthcare experts.


In March, Baker ordered the closure of all nonessential workplaces through April 7, and he subsequently extended that date, first until May 4 and now until May 18. The panel will play a key role in the administration’s thinking about how to proceed. Many protocols being shared by top executives suggest that the economy would be reopened in stages.

In addition to the 17 members, the panel will be overseen by Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito and Mike Kennealy, Baker’s top economic development aide.

Stephanie Pollack, the governor’s transportation secretary, will also serve on the panel.

The business leaders on the panel include: Kronos CEO Aron Ain, General Dynamics vice president Carlo Zaffanella, Rapid7 CEO Corey Thomas, eClinicalWorks chief executive Girish Navani, Joseph Abboud senior vice president Joe Bahena, Cape Air president Linda Markham, Fidelity Investments executive Pamela Everhart, Worcester Polytechnic Institute president Laurie Leshin, Davio’s chief executive Steve DiFillippo, and Cisco Brewers co-founder Wendy Hudson.

Rapid7 CEO Corey Thomas is one of the 17-member advisory board to guide the reopening of Mass. economy.Lane Turner/Globe Staff/file

The municipal leaders include: Lawrence Mayor Dan Rivera, Boston chief of staff Kathryn Burton, and Easthampton Mayor Nicole LaChapelle.

The public health experts include: Mass. General Hospital physician Rochelle Walensky, Baystate Health chief executive Mark Keroack, and state public health commissioner Monica Bharel.


Jon Chesto can be reached at Follow him @jonchesto.