UPDATED 9:21 P.M.: WASHINGTON, DC — Rhode Island Governor Gina Raimondo has been named President-Elect Joe Biden’s secretary of commerce.
“Rhode Island may be small, but our economy is mighty on the strength of our small businesses and innovative technologies. As Secretary of Commerce, I will harness that same American ingenuity to create good-paying union jobs and build our economy back better than ever before,” Raimondo tweeted at 8:21 p.m.
The news broke just after 1:30 p.m. The position requires U.S. senate approval.
Early last month Raimondo quelled rumors during one of her weekly updates that she would not be leaving to become the Biden administration’s secretary of health and human services.
Raimondo, who has been Rhode Island’s governor since 2015, is the first woman to hold that office.
RI Treasurer Magaziner congratulated the Governor on the news.
“I have known Gina Raimondo since she was a baby, so of course I’m a little biased here. But I can unequivocally attest that she is a talented, thoughtful, hard-charging, and effective leader,” Reed said.
By tapping Raimondo for the key post, President-elect Biden has selected someone with the skills and experience to solve pressing economic and trade challenges during a time of unprecedented economic strain, Reed said.
“Gina Raimondo is someone who carefully studies the issues, is always well-prepared, and has a proven track record of being a pragmatic, progressive problem solver. She is an extremely effective manager who really listens to different perspectives, asks the right questions, and then brings people together to execute. She has demonstrated the ability to forge partnerships to create jobs and expand opportunities,” Reed said.
“President-elect Biden’s nomination of Governor Raimondo is an excellent choice. The American people are getting someone who will work 24/7 on their behalf. Commerce Department employees are getting a terrific new boss who will listen to them, support them, lead from the trenches, and get the very best out of them by holding them to the same high standards she holds herself. And Congress will be getting a partner who is an honest broker of unquestioned integrity. She is forthright, transparent, and accountable. She doesn’t sidestep thorny issues or kick the can down the road, but tackles tough challenges head on and has been successful at every step of her career,” he added.
“Congratulations to Governor Gina Raimondo on her nomination by President-elect Joe Biden to serve as the U.S. Secretary of Commerce, ” said Congressman Jim Langevin, “This is an incredible honor, and I am thrilled that a great ally and champion for our state will be part of the President’s cabinet. Throughout her tenure, Governor Raimondo has demonstrated her commitment to spurring economic growth and expanding opportunities for hard-working Rhode Island families.”
“As a fierce advocate for the Ocean State, the Governor made improving our business environment a priority. The signs of progress are visible throughout the state as entrepreneurs, businesses of all sizes, and wide-ranging industries continue to invest and grow. In the midst of the global pandemic, Governor Raimondo also offered strong leadership that helped save lives, safeguard communities, and keep families afloat in unprecedented times, Langevin said.