Ronald L. Walker, II
Ron Walker served as Chief Operating Officer at Rasky Partners, one of the largest and most respected independent public relations and public affairs firms in the U.S., where he played a key role in operations, finances and strategic growth.
Walker is a nationally recognized business leader and workforce development expert for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts with extensive public and private expertise in corporate strategy, government, banking, customer acquisition, executive level management, business integration, and strategic planning. With a successful career as an executive level banker and strategic consultant to companies and entrepreneurs, he brings a wealth of experience in economic development, finance and innovative strategies to Rasky Partners.
Prior to joining Rasky Partners, Walker was appointed in 2015 by former Gov. Charlie Baker as Secretary of Labor and Workforce Development for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Under his leadership as Secretary, the administration made significant improvements in the development of the Commonwealth’s labor force. Walker fostered a focus on regional strategies to address workforce development and economic growth, which resulted in the largest Massachusetts labor force since 1976, and a historic low of the unemployment rate of 2.8%, at times.
Additionally, during his tenure, Secretary Walker oversaw five workforce agencies, chaired the Commonwealth Corporation placed a strong emphasis on labor standards, unemployment assistance and workers compensation programs, and the Department of Industrial Accidents, among other duties. He also chaired the Governor’s Workforce Skills Cabinet and the state workforce board.
Prior to his appointment, Walker was co-founder and President of Next Street Financial, LLC, a merchant bank that provides strategic advice and access to capital to companies and entrepreneurs nationally. He has held several corporate executive positions in large financial institutions including leading the bank’s advisory board. Additionally, Walker has been involved in monumental business deals including a recent $400 million real estate deal in Boston. This is one of the first major real estate deals with a state agency in Massachusetts that required minority investment partners.
A Mattapan, MA, native, Walker has a bachelor’s degree in marketing and finance from Prairie View A&M University. He also completed two executive education programs at Harvard Business School: Finance for Senior Executives and Governing for Nonprofit Excellence. Walker has received numerous awards for his business and community leadership, such as the 2019 UNCF 75th Anniversary Leadership Award, the 2013 Boston Business Journal CEO of the Year Award, and the 2012 Central Boston Elder Services Community Service award to name a few.
Walker gave the 2019 Founders Day and Honors Convocation speech at Prairie View A&M University. He was also appointed by the President as chair of the President’s Advisory Council.