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 45)
Smithfield, Rhode Island, U.S.
Political party Democratic
Spouse(s) Andrew Kind Moffit
Alma mater Harvard University
New College, Oxford
Yale University
Religion Catholic[1]

Gina Marie Raimondo (born May 17, 1971) is an American politician, businesswoman, venture capitalist, and the 75th Governor of the State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations. Raimondo, a member of the Democratic Party, is the first female Governor of Rhode Island.[2] 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 41% of the vote, in a three-way race, on November 4, 2014.[3]

Early life and education[edit]

Gina Marie Raimondo was born May 17, 1971[4] in Smithfield, Rhode Island, where she later grew up. Of Italian descent, she is the youngest of Josephine (Piro) and Joseph Raimondo’s three children.[5][6] Her father worked for a watch company. Raimondo graduated from La Salle Academy, as one of the first girls[7] allowed to attend the Providence Catholic Institution, where she would go on to be valedictorian.[8]

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.[9] Raimondo received her J.D. from Yale Law School in 1998.

On November 1, 2001 Raimondo married Andrew Kind Moffit, in Providence, Rhode Island.[10] The couple have two children, Cecilia Moffit and Thompson Moffit. 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.[11][12] 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.[13] At Point Judith, Raimondo would serve as a general partner covering health care investments; she retains some executive duties with the firm.[14][15]

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.[16] She is the second woman, after Republican Nancy J. Mayer of Bristol, to serve in that capacity since 1940.[17]

Pension policies[edit]

During her first year as General Treasurer, she headed the effort to reform Rhode Island's public employee pension system, which was 48% funded in 2010.[18] 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.[19] 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.[20] 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.[21] The legality of RIRSA was challenged in court by the public employee unions, but a settlement was reached in June 2015 .[citation needed]

Under Raimondo's tenure the pension fund was criticized for underperforming its peers.[22] Some of Raimondo's critics attributed the underperformance to a sharp increase in fees paid to hedge fund managers, while her supporters argue investments in hedge funds stabilize investments during market downturns for more consistent returns overtime.[23]

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."[24] The program launched in April 23, 2012.[25]

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.[26] 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.[27]

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."[28]

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.[29] 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.”[30] Raimondo wrote an op-ed in the edition of May 29, 2012 of The Providence Journal in support of payday lending reform.[31]

Governor of Rhode Island[edit]

Raimondo was elected Governor of Rhode Island on November 4, 2014, winning 41% 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.[32] She is also one of six current female governors of the United States, the other five being Kate Brown (Oregon), Maggie Hassan (New Hampshire), Susana Martinez (New Mexico), Mary Fallin (Oklahoma), and Nikki Haley (South Carolina). During her first year as governor, she advocated expanding the state's Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC), raising the minimum wage, lowering the state's minimum corporate tax rate, and eliminating the tax on commercial energy use.

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.

Electoral history[edit]

Rhode Island General Treasurer Election, 2010
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Gina Raimondo 201,625 62.1
Republican Kernan King 122,860 37.9
Rhode Island Governor Democratic Primary Election, 2014
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Gina Raimondo 53,990 42.1
Democratic Angel Taveras 37,326 29.1
Democratic Claiborne Pell 34,515 26.9
Democratic Todd Giroux 2,264 1.8
Rhode Island Governor Election, 2014
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Gina Raimondo 131,899 40.7
Republican Allan Fung 117,428 36.2
Moderate Robert Healey, Jr. 69,278 21.4
Independent Kate Fletcher 3,483 1.1
Independent Leon Kayarian 1,228 0.4
Write-ins Write-ins 739 0.2

References[edit]

  1. ^ http://www.wsj.com/articles/political-diary-raimondo-loses-her-religion-1414682063
  2. ^ "Democrat Gina Raimondo becomes Rhode Island's first female governor". Yahoo News. November 5, 2014. Retrieved February 19, 2015. 
  3. ^ Sullivan, Sean (December 18, 2013). "Raimondo launches campaign for Rhode Island governor". The Washington Post. 
  4. ^ "Gina Raimondo". ballotpedia.org. Retrieved February 19, 2015. 
  5. ^ "Nardolillo Funeral Home Published an Obituary for Joseph Raimondo". Nardolillo Funeral Home Website. Retrieved February 19, 2015. 
  6. ^ "About Gina". Gina Raimondo for RI. Retrieved February 19, 2015. 
  7. ^ Tom Mooney. "La Salle Academy removes all photos from Wall of Notables after Raimondo controversy". providencejournal.com. Retrieved February 19, 2015. 
  8. ^ Stanton, Mike (April 10, 2011). "Challenging the pension system". The Providence Journal. Retrieved July 6, 2012. 
  9. ^ "Gina M. Raimondo, University Leadership". yale.edu. Retrieved February 19, 2015. 
  10. ^ "WEDDINGS - Gina Raimondo, Andrew Moffit". The New York Times. December 2, 2001. Retrieved February 19, 2015. 
  11. ^ McDonald, Michael (January 18, 2012). "Gina Raimondo Math Convinces Rhode Island of America's Prospects". Business Week. Retrieved February 12, 2012. 
  12. ^ "The 2007 Life Sciences & Healthcare Venture Summit". youngstartup.com. Retrieved February 19, 2015. 
  13. ^ "GoLocalProv - State Pension Fund Pays $570,000 to Raimondo's Former Firm". GoLocalProv. Retrieved February 19, 2015. 
  14. ^ "GoLocalProv - GoLocal Voter's Guide - GT Candidates: Gina Raimondo". GoLocalProv. Retrieved February 19, 2015. 
  15. ^ Walsh, Mary Williams (October 22, 2001). "The Little State With a Big Mess". The New York Times. Retrieved January 28, 2012. 
  16. ^ 2010 General Election Statewide Summary, Rhode Island Board of Elections, November 17, 2010.
  17. ^ "Office of the Secretary of State: Nellie M. Gorbea: State Library". ri.gov. Retrieved February 19, 2015. 
  18. ^ Corkery, Michael (July 25, 2011). "Softer Approach on Pension Problem". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved December 5, 2012. 
  19. ^ Nesi, Ted (January 31, 2012). "Providence pension tab tops $900M with lower investment rate". WPRI. Retrieved July 6, 2012. 
  20. ^ Sardelli, Melissa (May 23, 2011). "Report reveals scope of pension crisis". WPRI. Retrieved October 14, 2011. 
  21. ^ McDonald, Michael (January 10, 2012). "Gina Raimondo Math Convinces Rhode Island Of America's Prospects With Debt". Bloomberg. Retrieved July 3, 2012. 
  22. ^ "RI pension fund again lags its peers with return of 11.1% - WPRI.com Blogs". wpri.com. Retrieved February 19, 2015. 
  23. ^ Edward "Ted" Siedle (April 16, 2013). "Rhode Island Pensioners 3% COLA Will Go To Pay Wall Street 4%+ Fees". Forbes. Retrieved February 19, 2015. 
  24. ^ “Press Release: Ocean State Investment Pool Open to Municipalities”, Rhode Island Office of the General Treasurer, April 23, 2012.
  25. ^ "State launches investment pool with Fidelity". PBN. March 24, 2012. Retrieved December 5, 2012. 
  26. ^ “Press Release: State Increases Transparency, Launches Investor Relations Portal", Rhode Island Office of the General Treasurer, July 14, 2011.
  27. ^ "R.I. launches site on state's financial information". PBN. July 15, 2011. Retrieved December 5, 2012. 
  28. ^ http://www.providencejournal.com/breaking-news/content/20130803-in-hedge-fund-world-transparency-takes-a-hit.ece
  29. ^ Marcello, Philip (April 18, 2012). "'Payday' loan rates assailed". The Providence Journal. Retrieved December 5, 2012. 
  30. ^ Fitzpatrick, Ed (March 25, 2012). "Military shows way on payday loans". The Providence Journal. Retrieved December 5, 2012. 
  31. ^ Raimondo, Gina M. "Op-ed: Protect R.I. from these abusive lenders". The Providence Journal. Retrieved December 5, 2012. 
  32. ^ "Democrat Gina Raimondo becomes Rhode Island's first female governor". Reuters. November 4, 2014. Retrieved April 15, 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