Jay Ash spent 14 years as the City Manager of Chelsea, where he grew the city's housing stock by more than 10%, expanded its commercial base, and led Gateway Cities with a 15% increase in new employment. He is now responsible for directing and executive Governor Charlie Baker’s housing, community, and economic development agendas. He is a highly effective group-photo-organizer, prolific Twitter user, and thanks to his long reach, he has no need for selfie sticks.
Jay Ash serves as the Secretary of Housing and Economic Development for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Secretary Ash is responsible for directing and executing Governor Charlie Baker’s agenda on housing and community development, job creation, business development, consumer affairs, and business regulation.
He previously served as the city manager in his native Chelsea, a position he held from 2000 to 2014. In Chelsea, Secretary Ash’s leadership produced both economic expansion and fiscal stability. He grew the city’s housing stock by over ten percent, expanded its commercial base with two dozen major projects, led all Gateway Cities with a 15% increase in new employment, developed 10 new parks, secured five credit rating increases, and won two All-America City designations for Chelsea.
Secretary Ash has led statewide initiatives on health insurance, youth violence, transportation infrastructure and expanded gaming in Massachusetts. He previously served as co-founder and vice-chair of the Metropolitan Mayors Coalition, as past president of the Metropolitan Area Planning Council, as a board member of the public policy think tank MassINC, the staff director to the Massachusetts House Majority Leader, and as an elected trustee of his alma mater, Clark University.