Gina Raimondo

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Gina Raimondo
Gina Raimondo.png
75th Governor of Rhode Island
Assumed office
January 6, 2015
Lieutenant Daniel McKee
Preceded by Lincoln Chafee
Treasurer of Rhode Island
In office
January 4, 2011 – January 6, 2015
Governor Lincoln Chafee
Preceded by Frank Caprio
Succeeded by Seth Magaziner
Personal details
Born Gina Marie Raimondo
(1971-05-17) May 17, 1971 (age 44)
Smithfield, Rhode Island, U.S.
Political party Democratic
Spouse(s) Andrew Kind Moffit
Alma mater Harvard University
New College, Oxford
Yale Law School

Gina Marie Raimondo (born May 17, 1971) is an American politician, businesswoman, venture capitalist, and the 75th Governor of the State of Rhode Island. Raimondo, a member of the Democratic Party, is the first woman to serve as the Governor of Rhode Island.[1] Prior to her election as governor, she served as the General Treasurer for the State of Rhode Island and was the second Rhode Island woman to serve as Treasurer. She was selected as the Democratic Party candidate for Rhode Island Governor in the 2014 election. Raimondo won the election with 40% of the vote, in a three-way race, on November 4, 2014.[2]

Early life and education[edit]

Gina Marie Raimondo was born May 17, 1971[3] in Smithfield, Rhode Island, where she later grew up. Of Italian descent, she is the youngest child of Josephine (Piro) and Joseph Raimondo’s three children.[4][5] Her father worked for a watch company. Raimondo graduated from La Salle Academy, as one of the first girls[6] allowed to attend the Providence Catholic Institution, where she would go on to be valedictorian.[7]

Raimondo graduated with a B.A. magna cum laude in Economics from Harvard College in 1993. She attended Oxford University as a Rhodes Scholar where she received a D.Phil. in sociology.[8] Raimondo received her J.D. from Yale Law School in 1998.

On November 1, 2001 Raimondo married Andrew Kind Moffit, in Providence, Rhode Island.[9] The couple have two children. The family currently resides on the East Side of Providence.

Early Career[edit]

Following her graduation from Yale Law School, Raimondo served as a law clerk to federal Judge Kimba Wood of the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York. Later, Raimondo acted as Senior Vice President for Fund Development at the Manhattan offices of Village Ventures, a venture capital firm based in Williamstown, Massachusetts, and backed by Bain Capital and Highland Capital Groups.[10][11] Raimondo would later return to Rhode Island in 2000 to co-found the state's first venture capital firm, Point Judith Capital. Point Judith would subsequently relocate its offices to Boston, Massachusetts.[12] At Point Judith, Raimondo would serve as a general partner covering health care investments; she retains some executive duties with the firm.[13][14]

General Treasurer of Rhode Island[edit]

On November 2, 2010, Raimondo defeated her Republican opponent, Kernan King, for the office of General Treasurer. She defeated Mr. King by a wide margin of 62 percent to 38 percent. She received 201,625 votes, more than any other Rhode Island candidate during the 2010 elections.[15] She is the second woman, after Republican Nancy J. Mayer of Bristol, to serve in that capacity since 1640.[16]

Pension Policies[edit]

During her first year as General Treasurer, she headed the effort to cut Rhode Island's public employee pension system, which was 48% funded in 2010.[17] In April 2011, Raimondo led the state retirement board to reduce the state's assumed rate of return on pension investments from 8.25 percent to 7.5 percent.[18] In May 2011, Raimondo released “Truth in Numbers”, a report that advocated for benefit cuts as the solution to Rhode Island's pension problems, and she helped lead the effort to cut pensions, along with Gordon Fox, who was then Speaker of the House.[19] The Rhode Island Retirement Security Act (RIRSA) was enacted by the General Assembly on November 17, 2012, with bipartisan support in both chambers. The next day, Governor Lincoln Chafee signed RIRSA into law. A Brown University poll conducted in December, 2011 found that 60 percent of Rhode Island residents supported the pension reform.[20] The legality of RIRSA is presently being challenged in court.[citation needed]

Under Raimondo's tenure the pension fund was criticized for underperforming its peers.[21] Some of Raimondo's critics attributed the underperformance to a sharp increase in fees paid to hedge fund managers.[22]

Municipalities[edit]

Raimondo created the Ocean State Investment Pool (OSIP), a low-cost investment vehicle intended to help the state and municipalities better manage and improve the investment performance of their liquid assets, which are used for day-to-day operations including payroll and operating expenses. $500 million in funds could be eligible for the program, which would enable Treasury “to extend its expertise to municipalities and improve investment returns by creating economies of scale."[23] The program launched in April 23, 2012.[24]

Transparency[edit]

In 2011, Raimondo led a review of the state's bond disclosure practices and updated the information statement and related bond disclosure information that will accompany future bond offerings.[25] In conjunction with the changes to bond disclosure policies, Raimondo launched the state’s first ‘Investor Relations Portal’, which includes financial information and related reports from the Office of the General Treasurer, the Employees’ Retirement System of Rhode Island, the State Budget Office, the Department of Revenue, and the State Office of the Auditor General.[26]

But transparency in hedge funds is not that simple. After a struggle to get the information in August 2013 the Providence Journal got info from some funds "Among the information redacted: what companies the funds invest in, past returns and withdrawal rates, how much the partners earn and their personal stakes in their funds, even such details as the identities of traders and the funds’ outside auditing and accounting firms."[27]

Payday Lending[edit]

During the Rhode Island General Assembly’s 2012 session, Raimondo advocated for a decrease in the maximum allowable interest rate on payday loans in Rhode Island. She hosted a roundtable discussion with then Providence Mayor Angel Taveras and members of the Rhode Island Payday Reform Coalition.[28] Raimondo submitted letters to the Senate and House Corporations Committees in support of payday reform legislation. She wrote, “Far too many families are facing financial challenges that might be mitigated or avoided through a greater understanding of personal finance,” and “payday loans exploit that lack of understanding…. With numerous economic challenges, Rhode Island should not permit the sale of a financial product that traps so many customers in a cycle of debt.”[29] Raimondo wrote an op-ed in the May 29, 2012 edition of The Providence Journal in support of payday lending reform.[30]

Governor of Rhode Island[edit]

Raimondo was elected Governor of Rhode Island on November 4, 2014, winning 40% of the vote in a three-way race, defeating challengers Allan Fung (R) and Robert J. Healey (Moderate Party). Raimondo is the first female Governor of Rhode Island.[31] She is also one of six current women governors, the others being Kate Brown of Oregon, Maggie Hassan of New Hampshire, Susana Martinez of New Mexico, Mary Fallin of Oklahoma, and Nikki Haley of South Carolina.

Community Service[edit]

Raimondo serves as vice chair of the Board of Directors of Crossroads Rhode Island, the state’s largest homeless services organization. Until 2011, she was a trustee at Women and Infants Hospital and Chair of its Quality Committee. She has served on the boards of La Salle Academy and Family Service of Rhode Island.

Fellowships and Awards[edit]

Raimondo is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and an Aspen Institute Rodel Fellow. Raimondo was awarded an Honorary Degree from Bryant University in 2012, and has received awards from the Northern Rhode Island Chamber of Commerce and the YWCA of Northern Rhode Island. Raimondo was elected Alumni Fellow at Yale in 2014.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Democrat Gina Raimondo becomes Rhode Island's first female governor". Yahoo News. 5 November 2014. Retrieved 19 February 2015. 
  2. ^ Sullivan, Sean (December 18, 2013). "Raimondo launches campaign for Rhode Island governor". Washington Post. 
  3. ^ "Gina Raimondo". ballotpedia.org. Retrieved 19 February 2015. 
  4. ^ "Nardolillo Funeral Home Published an Obituary for Joseph Raimondo". Nardolillo Funeral Home Website. Retrieved 19 February 2015. 
  5. ^ "About Gina". Gina Raimondo for RI. Retrieved 19 February 2015. 
  6. ^ Tom Mooney. "La Salle Academy removes all photos from Wall of Notables after Raimondo controversy". providencejournal.com. Retrieved 19 February 2015. 
  7. ^ Stanton, Mike (April 10, 2011). "Challenging the pension system". The Providence Journal. Retrieved July 6, 2012. 
  8. ^ "Gina M. Raimondo, University Leadership - Yale". yale.edu. Retrieved 19 February 2015. 
  9. ^ "WEDDINGS - Gina Raimondo, Andrew Moffit - NYTimes.com". nytimes.com. 2 December 2001. Retrieved 19 February 2015. 
  10. ^ McDonald, Michael (January 18, 2012). "Gina Raimondo Math Convinces Rhode Island of America’s Prospects". Business Week. Retrieved February 12, 2012. 
  11. ^ "The 2007 Life Sciences & Healthcare Venture Summit". youngstartup.com. Retrieved 19 February 2015. 
  12. ^ "GoLocalProv - State Pension Fund Pays $570,000 to Raimondo’s Former Firm". GoLocalProv. Retrieved 19 February 2015. 
  13. ^ "GoLocalProv - GoLocal Voter’s Guide - GT Candidates: Gina Raimondo". GoLocalProv. Retrieved 19 February 2015. 
  14. ^ Walsh, Mary Williams (October 22, 2001). "The Little State With a Big Mess". The New York Times. Retrieved January 28, 2012. 
  15. ^ 2010 General Election Statewide Summary, Rhode Island Board of Elections, November 17, 2010.
  16. ^ "Office of the Secretary of State: Nellie M. Gorbea: State Library". ri.gov. Retrieved 19 February 2015. 
  17. ^ Corkery, Michael (July 25, 2011). "Softer Approach on Pension Problem". Wall Street Journal. Retrieved December 5, 2012. 
  18. ^ Nesi, Ted (January 31, 2012). "Providence pension tab tops $900M with lower investment rate". WPRI. Retrieved July 6, 2012. 
  19. ^ Sardelli, Melissa (May 23, 2011). "Report reveals scope of pension crisis". WPRI. Retrieved October 14, 2011. 
  20. ^ McDonald, Michael (January 10, 2012). "Gina Raimondo Math Convinces Rhode Island Of America's Prospects With Debt". Bloomberg. Retrieved July 3, 2012. 
  21. ^ "RI pension fund again lags its peers with return of 11.1% - WPRI.com Blogs". wpri.com. Retrieved 19 February 2015. 
  22. ^ Edward "Ted" Siedle (16 April 2013). "Rhode Island Pensioners 3% COLA Will Go To Pay Wall Street 4%+ Fees". Forbes. Retrieved 19 February 2015. 
  23. ^ “Press Release: Ocean State Investment Pool Open to Municipalities”, Rhode Island Office of the General Treasurer, April 23, 2012.
  24. ^ "State launches investment pool with Fidelity". PBN. March 24, 2012. Retrieved December 5, 2012. 
  25. ^ “Press Release: State Increases Transparency, Launches Investor Relations Portal", Rhode Island Office of the General Treasurer, July 14, 2011.
  26. ^ "R.I. launches site on state’s financial information". PBN. July 15, 2011. Retrieved December 5, 2012. 
  27. ^ http://www.providencejournal.com/breaking-news/content/20130803-in-hedge-fund-world-transparency-takes-a-hit.ece
  28. ^ Marcello, Philip (April 18, 2012). "’Payday’ loan rates assailed". The Providence Journal. Retrieved December 5, 2012. 
  29. ^ Fitzpatrick, Ed (March 25, 2012). "Military shows way on payday loans". The Providence Journal. Retrieved December 5, 2012. 
  30. ^ Raimondo, Gina M. "Op-ed: Protect R.I. from these abusive lenders". The Providence Journal. Retrieved December 5, 2012. 
  31. ^ "Democrat Gina Raimondo becomes Rhode Island's first female governor". Reuters. 4 November 2014. Retrieved 15 April 2015. 

External links[edit]

Party political offices
Preceded by
Frank Caprio
Democratic nominee for Governor of Rhode Island
2014
Most recent
Political offices
Preceded by
Lincoln Chafee
Governor of Rhode Island
2015–present
Incumbent