“This is a time to figure out where we should be supporting our economy by making decisions and investments that ensure we have strength not just for the next couple of years, but for the decades to come.” 

That’s the message the Commonwealth’s new Secretary of Housing and Economic Development Yvonne Hao shared with the Kendall Square Association Board of Directors and our Emerging Leaders on a wet, snowy Tuesday morning at Alnylam on February 28.  

A longtime Cambridge resident with experience as a corporate executive, investor, consultant, and board member for tech and pharmaceutical companies as well as for nonprofits, Secretary Hao is a natural ally for the Kendall Square community.  

With energy and enthusiasm, Secretary Hao shared her admiration for the talent in the Commonwealth and the breadth and depth of the initiatives coming out of Kendall. She highlighted the urgent need to address the net outflow of people from Massachusetts and the housing and transportation challenges we are facing. In just a few short weeks on the job, Secretary Hao is immersed in efforts to connect with and elevate organizations and individuals to drive our long-term economic growth.  

Secretary Hao is determined to not just protect Massachusetts’ leadership position in the life sciences sector, but to “lengthen our lead” through strategic investments in research and innovation. She is focused on linking “meds and eds” as well as tech, venture, and financial institutions to strengthen our economic competitiveness.

Secretary Hao is excited to engage the Kendall community as she seizes the opportunity to develop the Commonwealth’s comprehensive economic development plan, an opportunity that only comes around once every four years. Kendall’s success in driving research, development, and innovation is firmly in her sight. She welcomes businesses large and small, established and starting up, to connect with her and her team to collaborate and establish priorities and plans to set the Commonwealth up for success for years to come.

Secretary Hao’s focus on research and innovation here in Kendall gives us confidence in her leadership and commitment to Massachusetts’ long-term economic growth and our ability to “lengthen our lead.”. 

Link to full transcript, including Q&A here.