Rosa Gumataotao Rios

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Rosa Gumataotao Rios
Hi-res-rosa-rios.jpg
Treasurer of the United States
Incumbent
Assumed office
August 6, 2009
President Barack Obama
Preceded by Anna Escobedo Cabral
Personal details
Born (1965-07-17) July 17, 1965 (age 48)
Political party Democratic Party
Spouse(s) Joe Gumataotao
Alma mater Harvard University
Religion Roman Catholicism
Website [1]
Rios' signature, as used on American currency

Rosa "Rosie" Gumataotao Rios (born July 17, 1965) is the 43rd and current Treasurer of the United States.[1] She is the sixth Latina to occupy the office, the third consecutive Californian, the third consecutive Hispanic female to do so, and following Anna Escobedo Cabral is the second consecutive Mexican-American to hold office.

As U.S. Treasurer, Rios' duties include oversight of the Bureau of Engraving and Printing, the United States Mint, and the United States Savings Bonds Division (now the Savings Bond Marketing Office within the Bureau of the Public Debt). Additionally, she advises the Director of the Mint, the Director of the Bureau of Engraving and Printing, the Deputy Secretary and the Secretary of the Treasury on matters relating to coinage, currency and the production of other instruments by the United States.

Early life[edit]

Rios, a first generation Mexican American, was born to Guadalupe Rios. Her parents divorced about 1974 and she and her eight siblings were raised in Hayward, California solely by their mother. In order to help out, Rios obtained a job processing books at an Alameda County library warehouse. She worked long hours, often coming home late at night and working on her homework into the early morning hours.

Rios graduated from St. Clement School, in Hayward, California, in 1979. She then attended Moreau Catholic High School in Hayward in the early 1980s. After graduating from college she lived in Fremont for seven years and eventually moved to Castro Valley.[2]

In 1983, Rios attended Harvard University with the intention of eventually returning to California and going to work in the state Department of Education. Four years later, she graduated with a Bachelor's degree in Sociology and Romance Languages and Literature and having completed a thesis on the "changing notions of Latino identity" focusing on the writings of Tomas Rivera and Sandra Cisneros.

Public career[edit]

Rios developed strong roots in business and government in Northern California and became an expert in economic development. After graduating from Harvard, she was hired as a commercial property underwriter for General Reinsurance, a San Francisco-based insurance company. Rios eventually moved to Union City where she became the city's redevelopment agency manager and, later, a development specialist for nearby San Leandro.[3]

In 1997, Rios became the director of economic development for Fremont, a position that she held for four years. She then moved on to Oakland, where in 2001 she was hired as that city's director of economic development and redevelopment. During her tenure, Rios was credited with revitalizing the city's flagging economy by attracting hundreds of new businesses and initiating several new development projects. She became known as a "can do manager who was well liked" and garnered praise from city officials.[4][5]

Consulting career[edit]

Rios soon became a principal partner at Red River Associates, a consulting firm specializing in economic development and project management- in particular, for small cities and public agencies. While at Red River, she played an important role in luring the Montreal Expos to Washington, DC in 2005. The following year, Rios moved on to MacFarlane Partners, a real estate investment firm in San Francisco, as its investments managing director. While there, she was responsible for the firm's urban investment and development programs throughout Northern California and consulting with local municipalities.[3][6]

In 2008, Rios volunteered to work for the presidential campaign of Sen. Barack Obama. While with Team Obama, she put her skills to use in convincing Latinos in Virginia to vote for the Democratic nominee. Upon the Illinois senator's victory in November, Rios took an official leave of absence from MacFarlane to join his Treasury-Federal Reserve transition team as the lead staff member for external stakeholder outreach on behalf of the Treasury.[3][7][8]

On May 18, 2009, President Obama officially nominated Rios as U.S. Treasurer. She was confirmed by the U.S. Senate on July 24.[7][9][10]

Treasurer of the United States[edit]

Treasurer Rios signs her name officially at her swearing-in ceremony

Rios was sworn in on August 20, 2009. She had previously provided her first signature to the Bureau of Engraving and Printing for use on U.S. currency on August 6. As it included her husband's name of Gumataotao, it marked the first time a Chamorro name appeared on U.S. currency. In addition to her regular duties, Rios announced that she would tailor her duties in order to help citizens recover from the recession. She also acknowledged the important role that her post has acquired in recent years in promoting financial literacy and education. [11][12]

Personal[edit]

Rios is married to Guamanian Jose Diaz "Joe" Gumataotao, Jr., an information technology executive. They have two children- Joey (born 1996) and Brooke (born 2000) and reside in Potomac, Maryland. Among her family, Rios is particularly close to her brother and sister, Jaime Rios, and Margarita Ortiz, as well as her mother whom she credits with inspiring her own accomplishments.[13]

At the time of her confirmation, Rios was serving as a Trustee of the Alameda County Employees Retirement Association as well as on the boards of California Association of Local Economic Development, the Fruitvale Spanish-Speaking Unity Council and the Toigo Foundation. She is also a Fellow of the Royal Society for the Arts.[11]

Rios' confirmation caused excitement on Guam, where her in-laws have a political presence. Her husband's uncle, Vicente D. "Ben" Gumataotao, is the mayor of the commercially important town of Piti, while his first cousin, Joanne Camacho, is the wife of former Governor of Guam Felix Perez Camacho. Another cousin is Guam Superior Court Judge Vernon Perez. First Lady Camacho called Rios' elevation a "giant step forward for minorities in the United States and insular areas."[12][13]

External links[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Carla Marinucci, "Obama selects Bay Area Latina as his choice for U.S. Treasurer," San Francisco Chronicle (May 15, 2009).
  2. ^ Mercy Bautista-Olvera, "Hispanics Breaking Barriers, Part VII: Rosa Gumataotao Rios," Somos Primos, Society of Hispanic Historical and Ancestral Research (July 2009).
  3. ^ a b c "Profiles: Rosa G. Rios," Who Runs Gov (a Washington Post Company Publication). Accessed on August 9, 2009.
  4. ^ Former Oakland Official Nominated For US Treasurer CBS5.com (May 15, 2009).
  5. ^ Josh Richman, "Former Oakland official may take U.S. treasurer post," The Oakland Tribune (May 15, 2009). Via MercuryNews.com.
  6. ^ "Rosie Rios," MacFarlane Partners website (archived). Accessed on August 9, 2009.
  7. ^ a b "Head Count- Tracking Obama's Appointments: Rosa "Rosie" Gumatao Rios," The Washington Post. Accessed on August 9, 2009.
  8. ^ David Goldman, "Who is signing your money? CNNMoney.com (July 28, 2009).
  9. ^ Office of the Press Secretary, The White House, "President Obama Announces More Key Treasury Department Posts," The Briefing Room (May 15, 2009).
  10. ^ United States Department of the Treasury, "Rosa Gumataotao Rios, Treasurer," Treasury Officials (August 12, 2009).
  11. ^ a b Office of Public Affairs, U.S. Treasury Department, "Rosa Gumataotao Rios Confirmed as Treasurer of the United States," (press release) TG-243 (July 28, 2009).
  12. ^ a b Zita Y. Taitano, "New US treasurer is Guamanian," Marianas Variety (August 13, 2009).
  13. ^ a b Gaynor Dumat-ol Daleno, AID=/20090812/NEWS01/908120313 "U.S. treasurer confirmed: Woman with Guam ties to have signature on currency," Pacific Daily News (August 12, 2009).
Political offices
Preceded by
Anna Escobedo Cabral
Treasurer of the United States
2009–present
Incumbent