Biden Picks Democratic Governor as Head of Commerce Department


President-elect Joe Biden has picked Rhode Island Gov. Gina Raimondo to lead the Commerce Department, setting trade policy and looking to promote U.S. opportunities for growth domestically and overseas.

Raimondo, a former venture capitalist, is in her second term as governor and previously served as state treasurer. Her name had been floated for Biden’s health secretary.

Her nomination, which was confirmed by a person familiar with the decision, will need to be approved by the Senate.

Raimondo, 49, has degrees from Harvard and Yale Law School and was a Rhodes scholar.

She served as a law clerk for U.S. District Judge Kimba Wood of the Southern District of New York, but ultimately went into business.

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The firm she co-founded, Point Judith Capital, was a venture capital firm that invested in communications, internet, health care and technology companies.

Raimondo’s first run for office was in 2010, when she was elected state treasurer.

While there, she led a state pension overhaul, which cut pension benefits for workers in the state pension system and drew intense opposition from public sector unions.

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Raimondo was elected governor in 2014 and won reelection in 2018. She is term-limited and cannot run again.

Raimondo is a former head of the Democratic Governors Association and a prolific fundraiser.

She became an early supporter of Mike Bloomberg’s run for president.

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