Elizabeth H. Roberts
|68th Lieutenant Governor of Rhode Island|
January 2, 2007
|Preceded by||Charles Fogarty|
April 17, 1957 |
Washington, D.C., U.S.
|Alma mater||Brown University
Elizabeth H. Roberts (born April 17, 1957) is the 68th and current Lieutenant Governor of the State of Rhode Island. She has served under Republican Governor Donald Carcieri and Independent-turned Democrat Lincoln Chafee. She was elected as a Democrat in 2006, becoming the state's first female Lieutenant Governor.
Prior to entering politics, Roberts has worked as a business strategy consultant, policy analyst, and health care manager. She is married to Thomas Roberts and they have two grown children. The Roberts family resides in Cranston, Rhode Island.
Roberts served five two-year terms in the Rhode Island Senate from 1996 until 2006. During her tenure in the state Senate, she was known for being a leading activist on health and medical issues. She was also renowned for her efforts on economic development and job growth, and pushed for cleaner air and water, stronger schools, and increased attention to disaster preparedness.
During her tenure in the state Senate she served as the Chairwoman of the Senate Health and Human Services Committee. Later, she served as a Co-Chair of Permanent Joint Committee on Healthcare Oversight, which she used as a vehicle to push for reform for Blue Cross and Blue Shield, the largest provider of health insurance in Rhode Island.
Roberts also helped expand the state’s prescription drug program for seniors (RIPAE) and helped expand coverage to more families through Rite Care, the state's public health system.
The reform organization Common Cause named Roberts one of the top two senators in Rhode Island in 2006, giving her the second highest rating in the General Assembly at 91% and an “A” for her reform efforts during the legislative session.
Roberts was elected the state's first female Lieutenant Governor in the 2006 elections held on November 7. She was inaugurated as the 68th Lieutenant Governor of the State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations on January 2, 2007.
Roberts also serves as the Chairwoman of the Long Term Care Coordinating Council, the Small Business Advocacy Council, and the Emergency Management Advisory Council.
Roberts floated the possibility of running for Governor of Rhode Island in 2010 election, but decided to run for re-election as Lieutenant Governor instead. She has hinted that she might run for Governor in 2014 if incumbent Governor Lincoln Chafee doesn't seek re-election, but will not challenge him if he does.