Meet Yvonne Hao, the state’s new economic secretary who just ‘gets stuff done’

When Governor Maura Healey named Yvonne Hao as the state’s new economic secretary, the business community was abuzz with one question: “Who is Yvonne Hao?” I count myself

as part of that crowd, especially since I like to think I know every prominent Asian American in Boston.Governor-elect Maura Healey appoints economic development, technology

secretaries And once we all learned more about Hao — her experience as a Bain Capital operating partner, chief operating officer, and chief financial officer of online pharmacy

PillPack, a trustee of Williams College, cofounder of private equity firm Cove Hill Partners, and director extraordinaire on the boards of Cargurus, Flywire, and Beth Israel Lahey

Health — the next question became: “Why don’t I know Yvonne Hao?” On Tuesday, Hao, 48, will be sworn in as the first person of color and only the second woman to oversee the

state’s economic development. Long overdue, of course. Gloria Larson was the last woman in that post, 20 years ago, under Governor Bill Weld. Here’s the intel on Hao: People

describe her as one of the smartest people they know, one of the most empathetic people they’ve met, and someone with a range of skills across sectors that might make her the most

qualified economic secretary we’ve had. She’s also got the connections to Western Massachusetts ― as an active alumna of Williams and owner of a second home in Williamstown ― that

will go a long way toward driving the governor’s agenda to spread the wealth statewide. If you’ve never heard of Hao, it’s because she’s kept her head down, fixing and

helping organizations navigate through their thorniest issues. In other words, she doesn’t have time to hobnob at Boston College Chief Executives Club lunches.