From Beacon Hill to Biotech

Jan 06, 2022

By Maggie Randall, Manager of Public Policy, MassBio

Boston, Massachusetts, USA cityscape with the State House at dusk.

Growing up, I was raised on the understanding that civic engagement is a responsibility and that the right to vote is sacred. They afford us the opportunities to make our communities, our state, our country a better place – a place we are proud to call home.

These passions took me to Massachusetts Senate, where I spent five years working on policies to improve the quality of life for individuals across the Commonwealth. From transportation justice and housing access to voting rights and criminal legal reform, our successes in passing critically important policies were achieved through collaboration.

In the Senate, I saw the power of bringing people to the table. Policymaking is a collaborative process. The path to addressing our most pressing challenges began with reaching out to experts, engaging with stakeholders outside government, listening and learning from those with diverse backgrounds and experiences, and understanding that the best legislation is borne from shared efforts.

Public-private partnerships are the foundation on which the life sciences industry was built. In 2008, Massachusetts passed the Life Sciences Initiative; a $1 billion investment to expand life sciences in the Commonwealth. More often than not, the story of life sciences and the story of MassBio stops there.

The passage of the life sciences initiative, however, did not mark the end of this partnership. Rather, it launched Massachusetts forward as a global leader in scientific innovation, creating cures and transforming patients’ lives. A little over ten years later, Massachusetts has become home to an industry that employs over 84,000 of our residents; generating over $16 billion in wages each year.

This growth is not an accident – it is a testament to what is made possible when legislative, business, and academic minds work together.

Now, the life sciences industry stands on the precipice of opportunity. Our biggest challenges are no longer finding a home in Massachusetts, but creating an environment with the space and resources necessary for this industry to continue to grow.

In the face of limited housing stock, low vacancy rates, traffic congestion, inadequate transit access, and high childcare costs, I see opportunities to transform the economic landscape in Massachusetts. By rethinking what is possible, we can combine public policy and business approaches to address these conditions that threaten economic growth in the Commonwealth.

From my time in the Legislature, I worked to turn obstacles into opportunities. In life sciences and biotechnology, we have the opportunity to expand clusters outside of Cambridge and Boston. Opportunity to leverage the expertise of our globally recognized academic institutions. Opportunity to create a talent pipeline from our first-in-the-nation public schools to the biotechnology and biomanufacturing workforce. Opportunity to retrain and reskill our existing workforce. Opportunity to convene experts aimed at improving transportation and housing.

No individual, company, or institution has these solutions on their own. My role at MassBio is to lead in identifying solutions to our industry’s most pressing challenges by creating spaces for innovation and fostering collaboration.

This year, I will lead MassBio’s efforts to convene subject-matter specific working groups aimed to support and grow the life sciences industry in Massachusetts by advancing policies identified in the State of Possible 2025 Report.

In conjunction with this public policy-focused undertaking, I will manage MassBio’s roundtables: groups of individuals with similar responsibilities and titles from life sciences member companies brought together to discuss best practices, exchange ideas, and collaborate in unique ways. In addition to the General Counsel Roundtable and Patient Advocacy Roundtable, we will be launching this year the Human Resources Roundtable and the Facilities and Lab Operations (FLO) Roundtable. These Roundtables create opportunities to not only learn from one another, but to identify ways we can transform the life sciences industry together.

Expanding transportation access, increasing housing stock, and bolstering education and workforce pipelines are all critical to the continued success of the life sciences industry in Massachusetts.

For me, it’s personal. Massachusetts is my home. I am proud that it is home to the life sciences, too.


Maggie Randall
Manager of Public Policy and Advocacy

As Manager of Public Policy and Advocacy, Maggie focuses on advancing local, state, and federal policies to support and grow the life sciences industry in Massachusetts. Maggie works with representatives from MassBio member companies to lead and facilitate policy working groups and position-specific roundtables.

Prior to joining MassBio in 2021, Maggie spent several years in the Massachusetts Senate, recently serving as Chief of Staff and working on legislation related to transportation, housing, and criminal justice reform. Previously, Maggie worked in Massachusetts Senate President’s Office.

Maggie holds a Master of Art in Applied Politics and a Bachelor of Science in Law and Public Policy from Suffolk University. Maggie’s graduate thesis examined voter turnout and voter accessibility through state and federal policies.

Contact Maggie to get involved with MassBio’s Roundtable and Working Groups.

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