Charles Duane Baker Jr. (born November 13, 1956) is an American politician and businessman serving as the 72nd governor of Massachusetts since January 8, 2015. He was a cabinet official under two governors of Massachusetts and served ten years as CEO of Harvard Pilgrim Health Care.
Baker grew up in Needham, Massachusetts, earned an AB from Harvard University in 1979, and later obtained an MBA from Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management. In 1991, he became Massachusetts Undersecretary of Health and Human Services under Governor Bill Weld. In 1992, he was appointed Secretary of Health and Human Services of Massachusetts. He later served as Secretary of Administration and Finance under Weld and his successor, Paul Cellucci.
After working in government for eight years, Baker left to become CEO of Harvard Vanguard Medical Associates and later Harvard Pilgrim Health Care, a non-profit health benefits company. During this time he served three years as a selectman of Swampscott and considered a run for Massachusetts governor in 2006. He stepped down in July 2009 to run for governor on a platform of fiscal conservatism and cultural liberalism. He was unopposed in the Republican primary but lost in the 2010 general election to the Democratic incumbent, Deval Patrick.
In 2014, Baker ran for the office again, and narrowly defeated Democratic nominee Martha Coakley. In 2018, he was reelected handily over Democratic challenger Jay Gonzalez with 67% of the vote, the largest vote share in a Massachusetts gubernatorial election since 1994 and more votes (1.7 million) than U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren, who was also running for reelection, received (1.6 million). As of March 29, 2020, Baker had a job approval rating of 80%. He had the highest approval rating of any governor in the United States for eleven quarters in a row from the first quarter of 2017 to the third quarter of 2019.