35, SINGLE, DORCHESTER
CHIEF OF STAFF TO SENATE PRESIDENT THERESE MURRAY
Jerome Smith says he's "pretty good at putting out fires," as he manages the day-to-day operations of Therese Murray, the Senate's leader and main policy mover.
Our panel loves his "charming personality and good looks," but Murray cares that Smith can oversee her staff of more than 30.
He says he's a jeans-and-T-shirt guy when away from the office, but prefers "a simple suit with clean lines and tie that pops," when he's walking the corridors of power. One vulnerability may be Smith's footwear: "My friends want to take away my gay card for shoe violations," he says.
Before joining Murray at the State House, Smith worked in the far less beautiful Boston City Hall for City Councilor Mike Ross and as Mayor Tom Menino's GLBT Liaison and neighborhood coordinator for the South End.
Job title: Chief of staff, office of Senate President Therese Murray
Held since: October 2011
Marital/relationship status; children; pets: Single
Originally from: Naugatuck, Connecticut
What you do: Manage the day-to-day operations of the Office of the President, and the Massachusetts senate. I'm pretty good at putting out fires.
One experience that made you glad to do this work: Working with community advocates on the CORI reform bill.
Other jobs: Chief of staff for Boston City Councilor Mike Ross; GLBT liaison and neighborhood coordinator for Boston Mayor Thomas M. Menino.
Path to Beacon Hill: I'm a Connecticut guy who moved to Boston in 2000. Having previously worked in the Connecticut legislature, I wanted to continue my work in politics and public policy. I spent a few years learning more about Massachusetts, Boston, and working with people on issues, through my work with Mayor Menino and Councilor Ross. When Senator Murray became Senate President, I was honored to be asked to join her team to assist on issues facing urban areas of the Commonwealth.
Personal style: When not in the State House, I'm a jeans-and-T-shirt guy. I prefer to be comfortable and relaxed. When at work, I'd consider my style to be more classic. I'm big on a simple suit with clean lines, and a tie that pops.
I need to do a better job at collecting more shoes. Apparently, my friends want to take away my gay card for shoe violations.
Favorite thing about working at the State House: I'm just shocked every day that I get to work in this building. You get to meet a lot of great people from all over the Commonwealth. Each day is never the same as the last, and that kind of challenge keeps me going. I hate being bored.