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Tuesday, February 26, 2019

Governor Baker Announces Departure of Lon Povich, Names Bob Ross as Chief Legal Counsel

Governor Baker Announces Departure of Lon Povich, Names Bob Ross as Chief Legal Counsel

BOSTON – Today, Governor Charlie Baker and Lt. Governor Karyn Polito announced the departure of Lon Povich as Chief Legal Counsel for the Office of the Governor. Attorney Bob Ross, current General Counsel at the Executive Office for Administration and Finance, will assume the post of Chief Legal Counsel.

Lon Povich managed attorneys across the executive branch as Chief Legal Counsel and played key roles in crafting significant pieces of legislation such as last year’s criminal justice reform bill and the MBTA reform measures passed in 2015. Bob Ross has helped craft the Baker-Polito Administration’s five state budget proposals and worked with legislative leaders and administration officials on several major initiatives, including a review of all Executive Branch agency regulations, while serving as General Counsel for A&F.

“Lon has served as an integral member of the Governor’s Office since the start of our Administration, providing invaluable counsel to our team over the past four years,” said Governor Charlie Baker. “One of Lon’s signature contributions to our Administration has been the appointment of 130 members of the judiciary, including 5 members of the Supreme Judicial Court, which will have an impact on the Commonwealth for years to come, and I thank Lon for his leadership over the past four years. Bob Ross has been a key advisor for our Administration on some of the most pressing issues relating to the state’s budget and finances, and we congratulate him on this new position.”

“Lon’s thoughtful guidance has supported our Administration through the most difficult of situations, including the gas explosions in the Merrimack Valley,”said Lt. Governor Karyn Polito. “Lon’s wealth of experience in both the public and private sectors has helped inform the tremendous advice that he has given our office, and I wish him all the best.”

“Throughout my last four years in the Governor’s Office, I have been honored and enthusiastic to work on a team with elected leaders known for their extraordinary competence, balance, and civility,” said Lon Povich. “I am very grateful for the opportunity to do complicated legal, policy, and political analysis on the most important issues facing the people of the Commonwealth, working alongside dedicated professionals throughout state government. I offer my sincere congratulations to Bob Ross, who I am confident will carry on the tradition of fine lawyers who have had the privilege of serving our governors as their chief legal counsel.”

“I am grateful to Governor Baker and Lieutenant Governor Polito for this opportunity to serve their Administration in this important role,” said Bob Ross.“I am also grateful to Secretary Heffernan and former Secretary Kristen Lepore for the support and trust they have placed in me. A&F is a great place to work with a great team, and I am looking forward to working with the team in the Governor’s Legal Office to build on the substantial legacy of success that Lon has entrusted to me.”

About Bob Ross

Since the start of the Baker-Polito Administration, Bob Ross has served as the General Counsel for the Executive Office for Administration and Finance under Secretary Kristen Lepore and Secretary Michael Heffernan. In this role, he has been primarily responsible for the drafting and review of legislation that has a fiscal impact on the Commonwealth. He has advised the Secretary and the Governor on legal issues inherent in the Commonwealth’s finances and worked closely with the Governor’s Chief Legal Counsel to review enacted legislation that is presented to the Governor for signature.

Prior to his current position, he was the Bureau Chief for the Business and Labor Bureau in the Office of Attorney General Martha Coakley, where he managed five divisions that regulate and enforce the laws governing businesses in Massachusetts, while simultaneously working to preserve the state’s dynamic business climate. He represented the Commonwealth’s interests in litigation stemming from the closure and subsequent bankruptcy filing of North Adams Regional Hospital, continuing vital emergency medical services in the community, and successfully argued the Commonwealth’s case as an amicus in a False Claims Act case before the First Circuit Court of Appeals.

Mr. Ross came to the Attorney General’s Office from the Office of the Senate President, where he worked for more than a decade in various roles in that Office and the Senate Committee on Ways and Means, including six and one half years as Chief Policy Advisor for Senate President Therese Murray.

Before coming to state government, Mr. Ross worked for six years as a litigation associate in the main office of McGuire Woods, a large law firm based in Richmond, Virginia. He graduated from Northwestern University Law School, and did his undergraduate work at the College of William and Mary in Virginia.

He and his wife live in Wellesley with their three children, ages 14, 12 and 10.

About Lon Povich

As Governor Baker’s Chief Legal Counsel, Lon Povich is responsible for the broad range of policy and legal matters that come before the Governor and his senior team.

Prior to joining the Baker administration in January 2015, Lon was Executive Vice President, General Counsel and Secretary of BJ’s Wholesale Club, Inc. Lon joined BJ’s in February 2007 after serving for 11 years as General Counsel at The Boston Consulting Group, a global strategy firm. At both BCG and BJ’s, Lon had responsibility for a number of management and operational issues.

Earlier in his career Lon worked as a litigation associate at Goodwin Procter in Boston; as an Assistant United States Attorney, in the Economic Crimes Division of the Boston United States Attorney’s Office; and as Deputy Chief Legal Counsel to Massachusetts Governor Weld. Lon graduated from Harvard Law School and Dartmouth College (summa cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa.) After graduation from HLS, he served as a law clerk to Chief Justice Vincent McKusick of the Maine Supreme Judicial Court.

Lon has also been active in the community. From 1996 to 2004, he was a director of MassHousing (Massachusetts’ low income housing finance agency); and from 2005 until 2010 he served on the Governor’s Judicial Nominating Commission. Lon also sat on the Board of Directors of the Greater Boston Food Bank, served on the Board of Greater Boston Legal Services, as an elected member of the Council of the Boston Bar Association, and has been involved in a number of local organizations in Wellesley, MA.  In 2018 he received the Executive Leadership Award at the Jewish Community Relations Council’s Annual Legislative Reception, 2018; and in 2014 he received the Good Apple Award for “demonstrated dedication to public service, fairness and social justice,” from the Massachusetts Appleseed Center for Law and Justice.

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