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Beacon Hill's Most Beautiful: 25 power players who keep the Golden Dome in style

By DAVID S. BERNSTEIN AND MIKE DEEHAN  |  November 8, 2012

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MICAELAH MORRILL
30, ENGAGED, CAMBRIDGE
CHIEF OF STAFF TO STATE SENATOR DAN WOLF

Originally from Urbandale, Iowa, and now overseeing a staff of five for the Labor and Workforce Development co-chair, Morrill "represents the best of America," one panelist says. "No-nonsense talk about urban planning policy, and style straight out of a J. Crew catalog."

"I like to think of my style as vintage chic, with a splash of electric pizzazz," Morrill says. "Kinda like Jackie O. partied it up with the Scissor Sisters one night."

Don't take her lightly, though. A political-science major at UMass-Amherst, currently finishing her master's degree in urban and environmental policy and planning at Tufts, Morrill has worked her way up quickly in six years at the State House. She also volunteers with Minds Matter Boston and Project Bread's Walk For Hunger.

Job title: Chief of staff, office of State Senator Dan Wolf

Held since: August 2011

Age: 30

Marital/relationship status; children; pets: engaged

Home: Cambridge

Originally from: Urbandale, Iowa

What you do: In addition to chief of staff I am also the Senate committee staffer for the Joint Committee on Labor & Workforce Development.

Most days, I make sure everything in the both the State House office and our district office on the Cape goes smoothly. With a staff of five, I make sure my boss has everything he needs, and I provide information to other senate offices on matters before the Labor and Workforce Committee or on labor and workforce issues in general. When things come up I make sure they are dealt with and handled accordingly — and that encompasses a broad list of things.

One experience that made you glad to do this work: Just the sheer fact that I've been able to help people over the six years I have worked at the State House makes me feel glad. But one thing in particular that stands out is when I worked with Congressman Bill Delahunt's office to save a rural designation for schools on Martha's Vineyard, so they could keep vital education aid. A lot of people think of the Cape and Islands as just havens for gigantic second homes and rich people, but there are year-round communities with real problems just like everywhere else in the state. Getting the feds and state to work together to save the school funding was really important, and I was humbled and quite glad to be able to help.

Other jobs: I used to wait tables, and was an assistant wedding planner at the Beachplum Inn on Martha's Vineyard for four years. I was a walk day coordinator for Project Bread's the Walk for Hunger.

Other activities: I was a mentor with Minds Matter Boston for three years, and an executive board member for one year. I have volunteered at and fundraised on behalf of Project Bread's Walk for Hunger for years. It is a really amazing event put on by an incredible organization that does a world of good.

Path to Beacon Hill: I've always like politics — or more specifically, people. I was a political-science major at UMass-Amherst, had some awesome teachers, and kinda caught the bug.

Personal style: The State House is fairly conservative, so I like to have fun with it, without looking like a lunatic. I like to think of my style as vintage chic with a splash of electric pizzazz. Kinda like Jackie O. partied it up with the Scissor Sisters one night.

Favorite thing about working in the State House: I'm finishing my Master's at Tufts in Urban & Environmental Policy & Planning, and when my classmates why I work and go to school at the same time I tell them that it is because at the State House there is always something new, and something to learn — and it takes a lot to shock me.

One thing you would change to make State House work more "beautiful": In general, everyone could smile more and say hello, but I think that's a Midwest thing. People should actually listen, not just wait to speak. And more fanny packs, of course.

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