Gina Marie Raimondo is an American politician and venture capitalist serving as the 40th and current United States Secretary of Commerce since 2021. A member of the Democratic Party, she previously served as the 75th and first female Governor of Rhode Island from 2015 to 2021.
Early life and education
Gina Marie Raimondo was born in 1971 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. Her father, Joseph (1926–2014), made his career at the Bulova watch factory in Providence, Rhode Island. He became unemployed at 56 when the Bulova company decamped operations to China, shuttering the factory in Providence. Raimondo was a childhood friend of U.S. Senator Jack Reed. Raimondo graduated from LaSalle Academy, in Providence, as one of the first girls allowed to attend the Catholic school, where she was valedictorian.
Raimondo graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree magna cum laude in economics from Harvard College in 1993, where she served on the staff of The Harvard Crimson. She attended New College, Oxford as a Rhodes Scholar, where she received a Master of Arts (MA) degree and Doctor of Philosophy in 2002 in sociology. Her thesis was on single motherhood and supervised by Stephen Nickell and Anne H. Gauthier while she was a postgraduate student of New College, Oxford. Raimondo received her Juris Doctor degree from Yale Law School in 1998.
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. Raimondo returned to Rhode Island in 2000 to co-found the state's first venture capital firm, Point Judith Capital. Point Judith subsequently relocated its offices to Boston, Massachusetts. At Point Judith, Raimondo served as a general partner covering health care investments; she retains some executive duties with the firm.