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The Manhattan Institute Honors outstanding urban leaders who have improved the quality of life in their cities with its annual Urban Innovator Award.

Gina M. Raimondo
Michelle Rhee
Renee Glover
Mitch Daniels
Jeb Bush
Paul Vallas
Raymond Kelly
Manuel Diaz
Martin O'Malley
Anthony Williams
Norm Coleman
Jerry Brown
Richard Daley


Urban Innovator Award Winner

 Gina M. Raimondo2011
Gina M. Raimondo, General Treasurer, State of Rhode Island

On January 5, 2012 the Manhattan Institute's Center for State and Local Leadership selected Gina Raimondo, Rhode Island General Treasurer who crafted the Rhode Island Retirement Security Act, as its 2011 Urban Innovator Award winner. Raimondo's work to define long-term retirement security through extensive public pension reforms has stabilized a crisis situation that an October story in The New York Times described as a "nightmare scenario."

Raimondo, after just her first year in office, garnered national attention for her unique approach to overhauling the state-administered public employee pension system. Her approach was to define long-term retirement security rather than search for short-term budget fixes. A December profile in TIME magazine called her "a rookie politician who never got the memo about dodging tough issues."

The Rhode Island Retirement Security Act, which the state's legislative leaders adopted in November, is one of the most extensive public pension reforms in U.S. history. The plan raises the retirement age for public workers, ties cost-of-living adjustments to the health of the fund, and adds a defined contribution program to the existing defined pension benefit.

"The Urban Innovator Award is largely about inspiring leadership - leadership that offers a policy model and a political example for others to follow," Michael Allegretti, Director of the Center for State and Local Leadership noted, "that is exactly the type of leadership that this year's honoree, Gina Raimondo, has provided."

Prior to being elected General Treasurer, Raimondo worked for a decade as co-founder and general partner of Point Judith Capital, Rhode Island's only venture capital firm and led an effort to open the state's first women's homeless shelter in the state capital. She is a graduate of LaSalle Academy, Harvard University and Yale Law School, and was a Rhodes Scholar at Oxford University.


Raimondo Says She Won't Return Manhattan Institute Award,, 01-19-12
Bloated Union Contracts Have Busted State Budgets, The Fiscal Times, 01-18-12
Rhode Island Treasurer Draws Nationwide Attention with Pension Overhaul, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, 01-17-12
Gina Raimondo Math Convinces Rhode Island of America's Prospects, Bloomberg BusinessWeek, 01-10-12
Pension Reformer Honored, The Bond Buyer, 01-09-12
Rhode Island Miracle Explained, Wall Street Journal, 01-06-12
After Pension Overhaul, RI's Raimondo To Accept 'Urban Innovator' Award in New York, Associated Press, 01-05-12
Democrat Raimondo's Rhode Island Reforms Are Remarkable, Josh Barro, Washington Examiner, 01-05-12
RI Treasurer To Get Urban Innovation Award, Associated Press, 01-05-12
RI Treasurer To Get Innovation Award, WPRI, 01-05-12
Rhode Island Miracle Explained : How A Liberal State Reformed Its Pensions, blog, 01-05-12
Treasurer Raimondo To Get Urban Innovation Award, 630WPRO, 01-05-12
RI Treasurer To Get Urban Innovation Award,, 01-05-12
R.I. Treasurer Raimondo To Accept Conservative Think Tank's Award, Providence Journal, 01-04-12
More National Accolades For Raimondo, WPRI, 12-15-11






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