NewburyportNews.com, Newburyport, MA

Local News

November 8, 2012

Mayor hires new chief of staff

Candidate's organization, polish impressed Kezer

AMESBURY — The mayor’s office will soon be fully staffed for the first time in nearly half a year after Mayor Thatcher Kezer announced his selection for his new chief of staff.

Eric Gregoire, a 23-year-old Ludlow resident who recently obtained a master’s degree in policy, planning and administration from Boston University, will take over as the mayor’s chief of staff. Gregoire will succeed Jennifer Hart Yim, who served as chief of staff for 18 months before resigning in mid-June to spend more time with her family.

Despite his young age and relative lack of professional experience, Gregoire beat out the far more experienced William Haberland of Gloucester for the job, along with four other semifinalists who interviewed over the past several months. Kezer said he chose Gregoire because he was impressed by how organized and polished he was.

“He’s sharp, very sharp,” Kezer said. “He was very organized during the interviews and then in the assessment, and it was impressive how succinct his responses were and his ability to communicate.”

For the past few years, Gregoire has been seen as one of the top student politicians in the state. While an undergrad at Fitchburg State University, he served as the Student Government Association Executive Board’s president, along with a whole host of other high-ranking student government roles, and graduated cum laude with distinction as a Commonwealth Scholar and a degree in political science.

He is also a voting member of his hometown of Ludlow’s Town Meeting, and has worked as a political consulting intern for Fitchburg State’s Regional Economic Development Institute, for Akerman Senterfitt LLP and for the BU Office of Judicial Affairs. He was also named one of the “29 Who Shine” award recipients by Gov. Deval Patrick in 2011.

Kezer said the two have a verbal agreement in place and he is still waiting for the signed letter back from Gregoire before the hire can become official. He wouldn’t comment on how much Gregoire would earn annually until after that happens.

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