Massachusetts Technology Collaborative Finds New Leadership

Carolyn Kirk is leaving her position as the state's deputy secretary for housing and economic development to lead MassTech, a public agency focused on growing the innovation economy in the state.

by Sean Horgan, Gloucester Daily Times / February 7, 2019

(TNS) — Former Gloucester Mayor Carolyn Kirk is leaving her position as the state's deputy secretary for housing and economic development to become the new executive director of the Massachusetts Technology Collaborative.

Kirk, who served seven years as the city's first popularly elected woman mayor before joining Gov. Charlie Baker's administration in January 2015, is due to start her new position with the technology collaborative on Monday. Before her four terms as mayor, Kirk worked at IBM and Fleet Financial and at her own consultancy.

On Wednesday, MassTech's executive committee voted to appoint Kirk to the top administrative position, where she had served since June as the interim executive director in addition to her other responsibilities in the state Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development.

"In June 2018, the agency launched the search through a formal posting of the position, which was promoted extensively," MassTech said Wednesday in a release. "After a months-long process, the executive committee determined Kirk was the best candidate."

The agency noted her professional experience in both the public and private sectors and her role in managing "issues critical to Massachusetts's Innovation Economy, including the expansion of the 'Last Mile' broadband in unserved parts of western and central Massachusetts, the rollout of innovative tech projects in coastal economies, and the focus on key sectors such as cybersecurity."

The release did not address whether Kirk will remain vice chairwoman of the Seaport Economic Council. Neither MassTech nor the Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development responded to a request for clarification.

Kirk's annual salary will be $230,000 at MassTech, a public agency tasked with enhancing economic growth, accelerating the use of technology and engaging in research collaborations among academia, industry and government.

Kirk currently makes $146,536 as deputy secretary for housing and economic development.

"Having worked directly with Carolyn for years, it's clear to me — and to the executive committee — that she can help small tech businesses, research institutions, and communities harness innovation and grow jobs for the long-term," said Mike Kennealy, state secretary for Housing and Economic Development and the chairman of the MassTech board of directors. "With her experience as a state official, mayor, and business executive, Carolyn will bring a mix of strategic vision and tactical know-how to this new role."

Kirk, who could not be reached for comment, is the second high-profile executive to leave the Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development in recent months.

In December, Jay Ash, secretary of housing and economic development, resigned and later accepted the job as chief executive officer of the Massachusetts Competitive Partnership.

Kirk's successor at housing and economic development will be announced at a later date, MassTech said.

©2019 the Gloucester Daily Times (Gloucester, Mass.). Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.