Mayor Wu announces Alex Lawrence as Chief Human Resources Officer and Ashley Groffenberger as Chief Financial Officer
Mayor Michelle Wu today announced the appointments of Alex Lawrence as Chief Human Resources Officer and Ashley Groffenberger as Chief Financial Officer. She also announced changes to the structure of the Cabinet of Administration and Finance that will allow 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 more than 10 departments, will now become two separate cabinets: the human operations cabinet and the finance cabinet.
“To better serve our residents, we must build a healthy organization and ensure that our workforce is supported not only as employees, but also as family members and caregivers, anchors community and civic leaders,” said Mayor Michelle Wu. “Alex has been a steady hand for many years at the City, helping to transform our services with a dedication to supporting our teams. She will bring so much passion and creativity to focus on improving our team members throughout this organization to make Boston City Government one of the best places to work. Ashley returns to Massachusetts with a deep knowledge of municipal finance and a love for our city. I am delighted to work with both of them as important leaders in our organization.
As Director of Human Resources, Lawrence will oversee the new Human Operations Cabinet, which will include the city’s central services of the Office of Human Resources, Office of Labor Relations, Registry and Municipal Appropriations, including Benefits. health, unemployment compensation and Workers’ compensation. The City will also hire a Director of Workforce Planning and Strategy to help bring a strategic, data-driven approach to the work of the Human Operations Cabinet. This restructuring will refocus these departments not only on meeting administrative needs, but also on supporting Boston’s greatest asset in delivering effective government: the city’s employees. She will work to implement improvements to how the City supports its workers both large and small, including mental health supports and transit benefits.
“I am honored that Mayor Wu has entrusted me with this role which will allow us to focus on the incredible employees of the City of Boston and, in turn, help them provide best-in-class service to Bostonians,” said Alex Lawrence, new director of human resources.
Lawrence has spent his career managing people, programs and projects in the public and not-for-profit sectors. She is a City Hall veteran, having spent the last decade in senior administration roles, including Deputy Chief Administrative Officer and Acting Chief Information Officer. Lawrence previously helped transform the city’s Department of Information and Technology into an award-winning technology organization that is at the forefront of user-centered design. She will bring the same energy and skills to modernizing the way Boston’s People Operations Cabinet serves its city employees.
She is passionate about building organizational capacity, improving processes and creating a modern workforce that will produce the next generation leaders. Lawrence holds a master’s degree in public policy from Harvard Kennedy School and a bachelor of arts from Wesleyan University.
As CFO, Groffenberger will oversee the finance practice which includes valuation, audit, budget management, participatory budgeting, procurement, treasury, community preservation and pension advice.
“I am thrilled at this opportunity to bring my public finance experience to a city that I call home,” said Ashley Groffenberger, new CFO. “I am grateful to Mayor Wu for entrusting me with the leadership of the finance cabinet, and I look forward to serving the City of Boston while advancing its bold agenda.”
Groffenberger joins the Wu administration with more than 10 years of experience leading multibillion-dollar state and local budgets. She is currently Budget Director for Mayor London Breed in San Francisco, overseeing the city’s $14 billion budget. Prior to that, she served on both the House and Senate Committees on Ways and Means for 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 lead the Boston Municipal Liaison. The most recent bond sale generated $330 million in new funding for critical housing, climate and infrastructure projects across the city. The funding will also support the Green New Deal for Boston Public Schools. In March, it was announced that Boston had earned a AAA bond rating for the eighth straight 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.