In my senior year I moved away from the idea of going to law school. I realized I didn’t want to be a politician, but someone who worked behind the scenes.
Chances are if you see Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker somewhere, Haley Arnold played a role in getting him there.
The Easton native is the governor’s director of scheduling and senior executive assistant. She came to BSU as a first step toward obtaining a law degree. However, as a junior, she accepted an internship with the Washington Center and had the chance to sit in on hearings on Capitol Hill. Before returning home, she’d heard the call of public service and began to rethink her future.
“That really shifted my focus,” Ms. Arnold said of the internship. “In my senior year I moved away from the idea of going to law school. I realized I didn’t want to be a politician, but someone who worked behind the scenes.”
Two of her political science professors at BSU, Dr. Mark Kemper and Dr. Jordon Barkalow, had encouraged Ms. Arnold to expand her vision of the future. Following The Washington Center internship, she took part in another in Governor Baker’s office. “I served that internship and never left,” she said with a smile.
Ms. Arnold’s primary focus is planning the governor’s schedule. With the assistance of a staff of two, she sorts through the hundred or so invitations that come in weekly (there were many more pre-pandemic) and juggles these with the internal meetings, important phone calls, charity events and the governor’s other official duties. Often she has to reshuffle everything when contingencies crop up, such as emergencies and storms.
“I’m known as the hub of the wheel, everything that gets on his calendar goes through me,” Ms. Arnold said. This includes being a gatekeeper for the governor so that he has the time and attention necessary to focus on the things he needs to. She also schedules events for the governor’s wife, Lauren, and has accompanied her to the annual meeting of the National Governors Association, held in Washington each year.
When Governor Baker announced he was not running for reelection, Ms. Arnold knew she would have to start looking for a new job. Thanks to her role in the governor’s office, she has been exposed to many related careers in public service, nonprofits and even the private sector. “I’ve gotten to experience a lot,” she said.
No matter her next step, Ms. Arnold says she’ll remember fondly the rewards of working in state government. “I see what gets done and how it impacts people,” she said. “Basically, what I put on the calendar are signs of the many things the governor is accomplishing.”