NAME: Eileen McAnneny, J85

POSITION: President of the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation, an independent organization that provides research, analysis, and recommendations to guide state spending and tax policies.

PROFESSIONAL TRAINING: Law. “Like a lawyer arguing a case, a policy expert needs to anticipate the opponent’s arguments and know how to refute them. You have to study issues comprehensively and consider many points of view.”

PROUDEST ACHIEVEMENT: Helping to make retirement pensions for military personnel tax exempt in Massachusetts. “I cannot think of a more deserving group for a tax break than career military folks.”.

BIG FAN OF: Doris Kearns Goodwin. “Two books stand out: Team of Rivals, about how President Lincoln chose his Cabinet, and No Ordinary Time, about the life and presidential tenure of the Roosevelts.”

WHAT SHE’S LEARNED: “Policymaking is a slow, deliberative process by design, and nothing is ever as black and white as it first appears. You have to be willing to compromise to get things done.”

ENDURING ROLE MODEL: The Little Engine That Could, from the children’s book of the same name. “‘I think I can, I think I can’—it’s my mantra.”