Rhode Island General Treasurer Gina Raimondo has been named by Northeast Women in Public Finance as the winner of the group’s annual Freda Johnson Award, which will be formally presented at The Bond Buyer’s Deal of the Year Awards Dinner on December 5th in Manhattan.
The award was launched last year and is named for the longtime analyst and financial advisor who was the first woman to head the public finance department at Moody’s Investors Service.
Raimondo was elected Treasurer in 2010, and is credited with bringing “transformative” change to the state’s pension funding outlook –- and its overall creditworthiness -- in just 18 months. In addition to reforms to the state pension system, Raimondo also helped craft a strong state role in resolving fiscal stress within its cities and other communities that is increasingly emerging as a model for the nation.
In a statement nominating her for the award, one Northeast Women in Public Finance member said her “relentless effort to detail the magnitude of the problem, and relate it to the everyday lives of Rhode Islanders, transformed the pension system from broken promises to stable, sustainable retirement funding.”
Raimondo was also recognized as a model for work-life balance. Prior to her election, she was a successful venture capitalist, and is the mother of two young children.
The Freda Johnson Award was created to recognize women who have served in public sector finance roles and who exemplify commitment to financial best practices — including transparency and rigorous analysis — while also helping expand the number of women in senior roles in the industry through advocacy and mentorship.
In addition to recognizing Raimondo at the December dinner, the Northeast Women in Public Finance will also award a posthumous Freda Johnson Award to Bella C. Marshall, who died earlier this year. Marshall was the Chief Operating Officer of Wayne County, Mich., at the time of her death, and previously served as the county’s Chief Financial Officer and as finance director for the City of Detroit.