Secretary of Education Jim Peyser. Photo: Alyssa Haywoode for Strategies for Children
Secretary of Education Jim Peyser. Photo: Alyssa Haywoode for Strategies for Children

Governor Charlie Baker has chosen all the members of his cabinet, including James Peyser, the state’s new secretary of education. Peyser heads the Executive Office of Education.

As the Boston Globe reports, Peyser has a great deal of experience in education and government. He is a former chairman of the Massachusetts Board of Education and a former education advisor to Governors Weld and Romney.

Peyser was also the executive director of Baker’s transition team, and he “recently worked at NewSchools Venture Fund, described on its website as ‘a nonprofit venture philanthropy firm working to transform public education for low-income children.’”

The Globe adds this comment from Charlie Baker: “I saw firsthand Jim’s experience and leadership improving public education throughout his career and during our time together on the state Board of Education… I look forward to the innovation and devotion Jim will bring to our administration as we work to give our children and their parents a greater voice in their education.” 

Peyser earned a bachelor’s degree in history from Colgate University and an MALD degree (Master of Arts in Law and Diplomacy) from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University, according to his LinkedIn page.

This week, Secretary Peyser announced that two new members will join his team at the Executive Office of Education:

Ann Reale will serve as undersecretary and chief operating officer. “Ann returns to state government after serving as a Principal Consultant to ICF International since 2009. In her 12 years as a leader in Massachusetts state government, Ann occupied the roles of Early Education and Care Commissioner, Senior Policy Advisor to the Governor’s Office on education reform, and the State Budget Director,” Peyser said in an emailed announcement.

And Tom Moreau will be the assistant secretary for policy and planning. “Tom joins us from the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) where he serves as the Senior Policy Advisor to the Commissioner. Prior to his years with DESE, Tom was the Policy Advisor for Education and Local Aid for the Speaker of the House, Research Director for Joint Committee on Education, Education Public Policy Researcher for the Office of Assistant Majority Leader, and a Research Analyst for Executive Office of Administration and Finance.”

Here at Strategies for Children, we look forward to working with Secretary Peyser to expand children’s access to high-quality early education and care.

A list of Baker’s other cabinet members is featured on Listed in alphabetical order, they are:

Jay Ash, Secretary of Housing and Economic Development

Carlo Basile, Chief Secretary

Matthew Beaton, Secretary of Energy and Environmental Affairs

Daniel Bennett, Executive Secretary of Public Safety and Security

Steven Kadish, Chief of Staff

Kristen Lepore, Secretary of Administration and Finance

Stephanie Pollack, Secretary of Transportation

Linda Spears, Commissioner of the Department of Children and Families

Marylou Sudders, Secretary of Health and Human Services

Francisco Urena, Secretary of Veterans’ Services

Ronald L. Walker II, Secretary of Labor and Workforce Development

It’s a new team that early education advocates across the state should get to know.