Date February 28, 2022
Media Contact

U.S. Commerce Secretary, former R.I. governor Gina Raimondo to visit Brown on March 15

In the Ogden Memorial Lecture, Raimondo will share ideas on how the United States can continue to compete globally by creating an economy that works for all Americans.

PROVIDENCE, R.I. [Brown University] — Gina Raimondo, the United States Secretary of Commerce and former governor of Rhode Island, will visit Brown University on Tuesday, March 15, to deliver the 101st Stephen A. Ogden Jr. ’60 Memorial Lecture on International Affairs.

In a presentation titled “Growth, Innovation and Equity: Ensuring American Global Competitiveness in the 21st Century," Raimondo will share ideas on how the U.S. can continue to compete globally while also creating an economy that works for all Americans.

A moderated discussion, led by Brown President Christina H. Paxson, will follow Raimondo’s presentation and will explore topics of economic growth and equity in the U.S., the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on American and global commerce, and Raimondo’s experiences as a member of President Joe Biden’s cabinet.

“The Ogden Lecture is Brown’s oldest and most prestigious international affairs lecture series,” Paxson said. “Since its inception the lecture has brought many prominent world leaders, policy makers and diplomats to Brown to discuss issues of great consequence. This proud tradition continues, and we are thrilled to welcome Gina Raimondo back to Rhode Island to deliver this esteemed lecture."

In March 2021, Raimondo began her term as the 40th U.S. Secretary of Commerce, where in the last year she has focused on creating jobs that pay competitively, empowering entrepreneurs to innovate and grow, and helping American workers and businesses compete.

From 2015 to 2021, Raimondo served as Rhode Island’s governor and the first woman to hold the position. During her six years in office, she lowered the state’s unemployment rate, raised its minimum wage to $11.50 an hour, led a major initiative to repair 650 bridges and roads across the state, and created the Rhode Island Promise, which enables every Rhode Island high school graduate to pursue a tuition-free community college education.

Raimondo grew up in Smithfield, R.I., and has said that her family history and upbringing informed her views about the importance of equal opportunity and financial security for all Americans. Her grandfather arrived in the U.S. from Italy at age 14 and learned English by studying in the Providence Public Library. Her father, a World War II veteran, became the first in his family to attend college, allowing him to find a career in manufacturing. Raimondo’s family battled financial insecurity after her father’s employer moved its factory overseas.

As a high school student at La Salle Academy, Raimondo graduated as class valedictorian. She went on to earn a bachelor’s degree in economics from Harvard University, where she was recognized as the top economics student in her class; a doctorate from Oxford University, where she was a Rhodes Scholar; and a law degree from Yale University. After clerking for a federal judge and working in venture capital, Raimondo moved back to Rhode Island. From 2011 to 2015, Raimondo served as general treasurer of the state, where she focused on reforming its public employee pension system.

The March 15 event will take place at 5 p.m., both in-person on the Brown campus and on the web via a livestream. It is free and open to the public, but advance registration is required, and in-person attendees must present a ticket and Brown or government-issued photo ID at the door. Exact location information will be provided upon registration. Doors will open at 4:30 p.m.

Attendees must comply with all University COVID-19 policies and protocols in place at the time of the event. For more information, please visit

For tickets and more information, visit

The Stephen A. Ogden Jr. ’60 Memorial Lecture

Since 1965, the Ogden Lectureship has presented the University and its neighboring communities with authoritative and timely addresses about international affairs. The lectureship was established in memory of Stephen A. Ogden Jr., a member of the Brown Class of 1960, who died in 1963 from injuries he suffered in a car accident during his junior year. His family created the series as a tribute to Ogden’s interest in advancing international peace and understanding.

Dozens of heads of state, diplomats and observers of the international scene have participated in the series, including former British prime ministers Theresa May and David Cameron, Queen Noor of Jordan, former President of the Soviet Union Mikhail Gorbachev, former Canadian Prime Minister Kim Campbell, media innovator Ted Turner, astronaut Sen. John Glenn, economist Paul Volcker, Bolivian President Evo Morales, former prime minister of Italy Romano Prodi, His Holiness the Dalai Lama, World Bank President Jim Yong Kim, former U.N. Secretary-General Ban-ki Moon and His Highness the Aga Khan.

News Media Access

Media credentials will be reserved exclusively for journalists working on assignment for credentialed professional news organizations. Space is limited and the University may limit the total number of credentials awarded. Members of the news media who wish to cover Gina Raimondo’s visit to Brown in-person must request credentials from Brown’s Office of University Communications no later than noon Eastern Standard Time on Tuesday, March 15. Please send requests to [email protected] with the professional news organization’s name along with the journalist’s name, telephone number and email address. For requests that are granted, credentials will be made available for pickup on the Brown campus in advance of the event.