Special Advisory Commission: Compensation of MA Public Officials

Massachusetts State House

This commission concluded its work in December 2014. 
These webpages remain for future reference.

This website was a project of Dean Ira A. Jackson; it is not associated with the University of Massachusetts Boston.

A Special Advisory Commission on Public Officials’ Compensation, sworn into office in early September, has reviewed its findings and submitted its final report and legislative recommendations to state lawmakers.

The seven members of the Special Advisory Commission represented a broad range of expertise and experience.

Authorized by Section 239 of the Articles of Amendment to the Constitution, the Special Advisory Commission was charged to study the compensation of the state's constitutional officers, including the governor and other high-level officials, to compare their compensation with other constitutional officers in other states and in the private sector, and to examine the method by which biannual adjustments are made to legislative base pay.

The commission intended for all of its records and meetings to be public and this website includes all documents and testimony the commission received, as well as minutes of its meetings. The commission welcomed and encouraged broad public input into the important topics it was required to address, as these issues affect every citizen of the Commonwealth.

All inquiries should be directed to the commission's chair, by mail to his office:

Dean Ira A. Jackson
John W. McCormack Graduate School of Policy and Global Studies
University of Massachusetts Boston
100 Morrissey Blvd.
Boston, MA 02125-3393

You can also email him at MassPublicComp@umb.edu.



Interim Dean Ira JacksonIra A. Jackson, Dean
John W. McCormack Graduate School of Policy and Global Studies, University of Massachusetts Boston

Jackson has a distinguished history of public service and both executive and academic leadership. He has held senior positions at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government, MIT, and the Drucker School at Claremont Graduate University. Jackson also served as the executive vice president and executive director of external affairs at BankBoston and revenue commissioner for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Jackson has earned numerous awards for outstanding public service and leadership including the Big Citizen Award from CityYear.


Mary Ann Ashton, Co-President
Acton Area League of Women Voters,

Ashton has focused her professional and volunteer activities for more than 20 years on data analysis and communications applied to solve problems, specializing in economic and management analysis. As a volunteer, she has served on her local Finance Committee, as a member and chair of the School Committee, and also as a leader of several parent-teacher organizations. In addition, she has served on the boards of several nonprofit organizations devoted to children, arts, and nature.

J. Lynn Griesemer, Associate Vice President for Economic Development
University of Massachusetts President’s Office

Griesemer has worked closely with the President’s Office managing initiatives in economic development and related areas. Her accomplishments include the development of the incubation of UMassOnline, development and growth of the STEM Summit, development of the Academy for Newly Elected Legislators in Massachusetts, management of the Life Science Initiative, development of MassBenchmarks, and the considerable expansion of the University of Massachusetts Donahue Institute.

Christopher Kealey, Deputy Director
Massachusetts Business Roundtable

As deputy director of the Massachusetts Business Roundtable, Kealey works with CEOs and senior executives to improve the long-term strength of the economy in the Commonwealth. Kealey has more than 20 years' experience in the private and public sectors as a senior policy, government affairs and communications executive in areas including economic development, real estate development, life sciences, clean energy, and health care technology. He served as chief of staff for the Massachusetts Technology Collaborative, as well as chief of staff and communications director at MassDevelopment. (Read complete bio.)

Cathy Minehan, Dean
College of Management, Simmons College

A recognized expert on business and finance, Minehan worked at the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston for 39 years, having served as the president and CEO of the Boston Bank and a member of the Federal Open Market Committee. She also holds director positions at Arlington Advisory Partners LLC; VISA, Inc.; Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company; and MITRE Corporation. She serves as chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Massachusetts General Hospital as well as the Massachusetts Governor's Council of Economic Advisors.

Michael Widmer, PhD, President
Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation

Widmer has been president of the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation since 1992 after more than 20 years of management and political experience in both the public and private sectors in Massachusetts. He is dedicated to finding public policy improvements in health care, business costs, capital spending, state and municipal finances, transportation restructuring, and state government reform.

Ex-officio Member

Scott Jordan, Undersecretary of Administration and Finance
Commonwealth of Massachusetts

Prior to his current role as the state's undersecretary of administration and finance, Jordan was executive director of the Massachusetts Water Pollution Abatement Trust, director of finance for the City of Lawrence, director of debt finance for A&F, and deputy director at the state Office of Tax Policy Analysis. Jordan represents Secretary of Administration and Finance Glen Shor on this commission.