Mayor Michelle Wu today announced the appointments of Alex Lawrence as Chief People Officer and Ashley Groffenberger as Chief Financial Officer. She also announced changes to the structure of the Administration and Finance Cabinet that will enable the City to be a more competitive and supportive employer for its workforce.
The Administration and Finance Cabinet, formerly headed by a Chief who oversaw over 10 departments, will now become two separate cabinets: the People Operations Cabinet and the Finance Cabinet.
“To better serve our residents, we have to build a healthy organization and ensure that our workforce is supported not only as employees, but as family members and caregivers, community anchors and civic leaders” said Mayor Michelle Wu. “Alex has been a steady hand throughout many years at the City, helping transform our departments with a dedication to supporting our teams. She will bring so much passion and creativity to focusing on lifting up our team members throughout this organization to make city government in Boston one of the best places to work. Ashley comes home to Massachusetts with a deep knowledge of municipal finance and love for our city. I’m delighted to work with both of them as important leaders in our organization.”
As Chief People Officer, Lawrence will oversee the newly formed People Operations Cabinet, which will consist of the City’s central departments of the Office of Human Resources, the Office of Labor Relations, the Registry, and City appropriations including Health Benefits, Unemployment Compensation, and Workers Compensation. The City will also be hiring for a Director of Workforce Planning and Strategy to help bring a data-driven, strategic approach to the work of the People Operations Cabinet. This restructuring will refocus these departments on not only delivering administrative needs, but also in supporting Boston’s greatest asset in delivering effective government: City workers. She will be working to implement improvements to how the City supports its workers in ways both big and small, including mental health supports and employee transit benefits.
“I am honored that Mayor Wu has entrusted me with this role that will allow us to focus on the incredible employees of the City of Boston, and in turn help them deliver best-in-class services for Bostonians,” said Alex Lawrence, incoming Chief People Officer.
Lawrence has spent her career in people, program, and project management in both the public and non-profit sectors. She is a City Hall veteran, spending the last decade in leadership roles across the administration including Deputy Chief of Administration and interim Chief Information Officer. Lawrence previously helped to transform the City’s Department of Information and Technology into an award-winning tech organization that leads in user-centered design. She will bring the same energy and skills to modernizing the way Boston’s People Operations Cabinet serves its City workers.
She is passionate about organizational capacity building, process improvement, and creating a modern workforce that will produce the next generation’s leaders. Lawrence holds a Masters in Public Policy from the Harvard Kennedy School and a Bachelor of Arts from Wesleyan University.
As Chief Financial Officer, Groffenberger will oversee the Finance Cabinet which includes Assessing, Auditing, Budget Management, Participatory Budgeting, Procurement, Treasury, Community Preservation, and the Retirement Board.
“I am thrilled for this opportunity to bring my public finance experience to a city I consider home,” said Ashley Groffenberger, incoming Chief Financial Officer. “I’m grateful to Mayor Wu for entrusting me to lead the Finance Cabinet, and I look forward to serving the City of Boston while advancing her bold agenda.”
Groffenberger joins the Wu administration with over 10 years of experience leading multi-billion dollar state and local budgets. She currently serves as the Budget Director for Mayor London Breed in San Francisco, overseeing the city’s $14 billion budget. Before that, she served in both the House and Senate Committees on Ways and Means in the Massachusetts state legislature.
She will lead the cabinet that manages Boston’s $4 billion annual operating budget and hundreds of millions in federal aid. Groffenberger will also direct Boston’s municipal bonding. The most recent bond sale generated $330 million in new funding towards critical housing, climate and infrastructure projects throughout the City. The funding will also support the Green New Deal for Boston Public Schools. In March, it was announced that Boston achieved a AAA bond rating for the eighth consecutive year.
Born in Lowell, MA and raised in southern New Hampshire, Groffenberger graduated from Northeastern University with a degree in Political Science. She is an avid skier and enjoys spending time with her husband Mike and dog Annie.