Undersecretary of Administration and Finance Rachel Madden is constantly moving, a human whirlwind of excellence and efficiency fueled by a steady stream of humor and prodigious amounts of candy. Rushing from meeting to meeting, call to call, and typing away at her standing desk at every second in between, she exudes an aura of intense focus and unshakable determination. From the second you see her in action, you know: This is somebody who gets things done.
Madden’s reputation as a closer, not to mention her long and distinguished career in public service, might not have ever materialized were it not for her own experience as a Ward Fellow back in 1988. Serving in the office of then-Lieutenant Governor Evelyn Murphy, Madden got an inside look at the workings of state government and soon came to the conclusion that she never wanted to leave. After graduating from BLS the following year, she attended the University of Rochester in New York, where she earned her BA with a triple major in Political Science, Religious Classics and Philosophy before returning to Massachusetts to begin her work on behalf of the Commonwealth.
Madden’s first job out of college was as a senior analyst at the Massachusetts Department of Revenue (DOR). From there, she transitioned over to the Executive Office for Administration and Finance, where she worked as a project manager under current Governor Charlie Baker, who served as Secretary of A&F in the administrations of former Governors William Weld and Paul Cellucci. During this period, she established a name for herself as someone capable of handling anything placed in front of her, earning the trust and respect of Secretary Baker and everyone else at A&F. In following decade, Madden would go on to serve in a variety of government roles, with jobs at the Executive Office of Health and Human Services (HHS), the MA Registry of Motor Vehicles (RMV), and the MA Water Resource Authority (WRA), where she served as Chief Financial Officer and Director of Administration and Finance for seven years.
In January of 2015, at the request of former Secretary Lepore and Governor Baker, Madden returned to A&F, where she assumed her current role as Undersecretary. Since then, she has worked tirelessly to stabilize the state’s finances through the use of innovative and resourceful budgeting, overseen a comprehensive review of the state’s regulatory code, and handled countless other matters both large and small.
In the coming months, Madden will be departing from A&F to serve as the new Chief Operating Officer (COO) of MassHousing, where she’ll have the opportunity to concentrate on matters of housing and homelessness, two of the issues she’s most passionate about. Although she’ll be missed at A&F, and on all the boards and committees on which she’s served, she looks forward to turning a new leaf and hosting Ward Fellows for many years to come.