Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick last week announced the departure of Leslie Kirwan as secretary of the Executive Office of Administration and Finance. The current undersecretary, Jay Gonzalez, is set to take the post next month.

Kirwan is leaving the state’s budget department to serve as dean of administration and finance for the faculty of arts and sciences at Harvard University.

Under Kirwan, the state has passed three on-time budgets and reduced spending in fiscal 2009 and fiscal 2010 to reflect declining revenues. She has also overseen the spending of the state’s share of federal stimulus funds and helped to close pension law and tax loopholes.

“With the help of her intelligence, diligence, and creativity, we have made tough but necessary budget choices, protected core services for the most vulnerable, and invested wisely in our economic future,” Patrick said in a press release. “I thank Leslie for a job exceptionally well done and wish her every success and happiness in the future.”

In his current post, Gonzalez has orchestrated the state’s capital plan and borrowing needs as well as debt issues surrounding transportation reform initiative. That plan involves the merger of most of the state’s surface entities under one large independent bonding authority called the Massachusetts Department of Transportation. The new agency is set to begin operations on Nov. 1.

“Jay has been with us since day one and is intimately familiar with the state’s finances,” Patrick said in a press release. “He is a tremendous talent with a deep understanding of our capital spending plan, landmark transportation reform law, and our strategies for federal stimulus investment.”

Before joining the Office of Administration and Finance, Gonzalez was partner at Edwards Angell Palmer & Dodge LLP working on debt issuance for municipalities and government entities. He studied law at Georgetown University Law Center and holds a bachelor’s degree in government from Dartmouth College.

He will begin as secretary on Oct. 12.

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