“A Conversation with Ann Klee, VP of Global Operations at General Electric”

Representative Jay Kaufman’s award winning public policy forum, “OPEN HOUSE,” evaluates the impact of General Electric’s (GE) move from Connecticut to Massachusetts in “A Conversation with Ann Klee, Vice-President of Global Operations at GE.” The forum, the tenth of the 21st season of “OPEN HOUSE,” will be held on Thursday, June 16th, from 7PM-8PM, at the historic Depot in Lexington Center (13 Depot Square in Lexington Center).

In January 2016, General Electric announced its intention to move their corporate headquarters to Boston, making it the largest company ever to relocate to Boston. The move was immediately lauded by business, political, and civic leaders alike and further cemented the area’s reputation as a magnet for cutting edge business and innovation. The move by GE to Boston culminated a year-long campaign by state and local officials to woo the corporate giant to Massachusetts, beating out New York, Providence, and several other cities. The move was seen as a major victory for Governor Charlie Baker and Boston Mayor Marty Walsh, whose administrations worked closely together to pull off the coup. In recent years, Boston has had many of its biggest companies swallowed up by out-of-town buyers, and the state has labored hard to shed the “Taxachusetts” label. State and local officials offered lucrative incentives totaling $145 million, to lure the company here. The move also brings over 800 jobs to the Commonwealth.

Ann Klee is Vice President of Global Operations and headed the search team behind GE’s move away from an increasingly burdensome tax climate in Connecticut. Prior to joining GE, she was a law partner at Crowell & Moring LLP, based in Washington, DC.  Before that, Ann held several positions in the Bush Administration including General Counsel of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (2004-2006) and Special Assistant to the Secretary of the U.S. Department of the Interior (2001 to 2004).

What does this move really mean for the Massachusetts economy? Is $145 million in tax incentives worth it? How important is this to the growth of the Seaport District and the rise of the innovation economy? Can this move spur other companies to consider relocating to Massachusetts? What role can (or should) GE play in the local economy? Don’t miss this forum June 16th, from 7PM-8PM.As always; the forum will take its shape largely from questions from the audience. Questions can also be submitted in advance at jay.kaufman@mahouse.gov, or tweet your questions to @repjaykaufman. 

  In 1997, OPEN HOUSE was awarded the prestigious Beacon Award, cable television’s equivalent of an Emmy. The series was also named the best television series by Massachusetts Cable Television Commission. The OPEN HOUSE series is produced through a partnership between Representative Kaufman and LexMedia which records the forums for broadcast in Lexington and Woburn.