President-elect Joe Biden has nominated Gina Raimondo, the governor of Rhode Island, as his commerce secretary.

In her new role, Raimondo will represent U.S. businesses within the president’s cabinet, interacting with communities, businesses, universities, and workers to promote economic growth, job creation, and balanced economic development. She will also be responsible for policy regarding technology and climate change.

Raimondo, a moderate democrat with a background in the financial industry, was elected the first female governor of her home state in 2014. During her tenure as governor, Raimondo revitalized Rhode Island’s economy through investments in economic development, job training, tax cuts, infrastructure, and the elimination of regulations to support businesses. 

Before that, she served as Rhode Island’s general treasurer and spearheaded landmark pension reform to restore fiscal order in the state. She also led the Democratic Governors Association from 2018 to 2019. 

Raimondo is viewed as a relatively traditional choice for commerce secretary. Biden had previously considered several high-profile chief executives for the position, including Quibi CEO Meg Whitman and Ariel Investments co-CEO Mellody Hobson, as well as the possibility of nominating a Republican. 

Early Career and Education

Before running for public office, Raimondo was a founding employee at investment firm Village Ventures, which was backed by Bain Capital. She also co-founded her own venture capital firm, Point Judith Capital. 

Raimondo received her bachelor of arts degree from Harvard University, her master of arts and doctor of philosophy degrees as a Rhodes Scholar at the University of Oxford, and her JD from Yale Law School.