Bridging Political Divides: Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker and Steve Kadish Discuss Effective Public Service
On March 20, Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker and his former chief of staff, Steve Kadish, discussed the importance of bridging political divides in public service during an event hosted by NC State’s Institute for Emerging Issues and the School of Public and International Affairs (SPIA).
The event, which took place at the Hunt Library on NC State University’s Centennial Campus, included two sessions tailored for different audiences. The first session, moderated by McKinley Wooten, Assistant Secretary for Tax Research and Equity with the NC Department of Revenue, was aimed at public administrators, nonprofit staff and others interested in effective public administration. The second session, moderated by Dr. Traciel Reid, Associate Professor of Political Science at SPIA, was tailored for students, faculty and staff.
During the event, Baker and Kadish shared insights from their book “Results: Getting Beyond Politics to Get Important Work Done” and discussed their experiences working in a bipartisan manner to serve the public.
“People can trust each other even if they don’t agree all the time,” said Gov. Baker. “We worked hard to create that notion that this whole thing was going to be a team exercise.”
Kadish emphasized the unusually bipartisan method that Gov. Baker used to build his cabinet when he was in office, a method that he said reflects the nature of public service itself.
“So much of what state and local and federal government is about is the actual delivery of services. The delivery of the services is inherently nonpartisan. But the noise that we hear is about the policy,” said Kadish.
Gov. Baker and Kadish fielded questions from the audience and signed copies of their book after both sessions.
“The Institute for Emerging Issues is proud to have partnered with the School of Public and International Affairs to make this event possible,” said IEI Director Sarah Langer Hall. “Both of our organizations focus on seeking solutions in service of all people, and this event demonstrated how that can look in practice.”