Healey signs executive order on climate

Reappoints Baker's safety secretary, goes with two interims

IN HER FIRST official act as governor, Maura Healey on Friday signed an executive order establishing a cabinet-level climate office that will work in conjunction with climate officers stationed within every executive department.

Healey had previously said Melissa Hoffer, the former deputy general counsel at the Environmental Protection Agency, would head the state office, the first of its kind in the country. She also indicated the executive order was a clear signal of the issue’s priority in her administration. The executive order said Hoffer will deliver her initial recommendations on how to “better align executive department decision-making and action on climate matters” in 180 days.

“We have no time to delay. The climate crisis threatens every aspect of Massachusetts life,” Healey said. “It is our greatest challenge but it is also our greatest opportunity.”

The governor also swore in her cabinet, which is still a work in progress. In addition to the seven cabinet members already appointed, Healey announced on Friday that she was reappointing Terrence Reidy as secretary of public safety and security.

Gov. Maura Healey talks to reporters, joined by Lt. Gov. Kim Driscoll and members of her Cabinet after their first meeting in the governor’s suite. Back row from left: Jennifer Maddox, acting housing and economic development pending swearing in of Yvonne Hao, Mathew Gorckowicz, administration and finance; Patrick Tutwiler, education; Jason Snyder, technology; Terrence Reidy, public safety; Mike Doheny, labor and workforce. Front row from left: Gina Fiandanca, transportation; Rebecca Tepper, energy and environmental affairs; Lt. Gov. Kim Driscoll; Healey; Melissa Hoffer, climate; and Mary Beckman, interim health and human services. [Sam Doran/SHNS]

Reidy was initially appointed to the position by former governor Charlie Baker in 2021 and previously served as an undersecretary in the agency since 2019. Prior to joining the Baker administration, Reidy worked for Healey as an assistant attorney general overseeing the enterprise, major crimes, and cyber crime unit.

“He has a proven record of keeping our communities safe,” Healey said.

Healey has two other people serving in the cabinet on an interim basis – Mary Beckman at health and human services and Mike Doheny at labor and workforce development. The search for permanent leaders of the two agencies is ongoing, Healey said.