NIAF Sends its Congratulations to the Governor of Rhode Island

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The National Italian American Foundation (NIAF) congratulates Governor Gina Raimondo for her nomination as Secretary of Commerce. If confirmed, Gov. Raimondo will be the first Italian American and the fourth woman to lead the Commerce Department in United States history. 

NIAF Chairman The Honorable Patricia de Stacy Harrison said, “Governor Raimondo’s impressive career and business acumen has prepared her to serve the president and our nation in this important role. NIAF is proud that an Italian American woman has been nominated to serve as Secretary of Commerce advocating economic growth and opportunity. We congratulate the Secretary-designate.”

Born in Smithfield, R.I., Gov. Raimondo grew up in a working-class Italian American family and is the granddaughter of Italian immigrants who came to the United States when they were teenagers.

“We always had a very close family,” Gov. Raimondo told the Valley Breeze. “My grandpa lived in the house with us; we took care of him as he aged. We went to Mass as a family every Sunday, had dinner every night as a family.”

Gov. Raimondo graduated with honors in economics from Harvard University. She then won a Rhodes Scholarship for her doctorate from Oxford University and graduated from Yale Law School.

Before Gov. Raimondo started her public service career, she had more than ten years of experience growing businesses through venture capitalist firms. In 2010, she ran for Rhode Island’s state treasurer after learning that budget cuts were about to close Providence library branches where her grandfather learned English. She won that election and in 2014 she was elected governor, making her Rhode Island’s first female governor. She was reelected for a second term in 2018.

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