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Rosie Rios        

Former Treasurer of the United States; CEO of Red River Associates

Rosie Rios is the CEO of Red River Associates, a real estate investment management consulting firm. She served as the 43rd Treasurer of the United States and was the CEO of the Bureau of Engraving and Printing and the U.S. Mint, including Fort Knox. She also initiated and led the efforts to place a portrait of a woman on U.S. currency for the first time in over a century. Upon her resignation in 2016, she received the Hamilton Award, the highest honor bestowed in the U.S. Department of the Treasury. Rios was the longest serving Senate-confirmed Treasury official beginning with her time on the Treasury/Federal Reserve Transition Team in November 2008 at the height of the financial crisis. Following her tenure, she was appointed as a Visiting Scholar at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard University with a focus on Millennials and Post-Millennials.

In her role as Treasurer of the United States, Rios' day-to-day responsibilities included overseeing all currency and coin production and consumer payment policies with almost 4,000 employees in eight facilities nationwide and an annual budget of approximately $5 billion. In the first five years of her tenure, she saved over $1 billion by implementing efficiencies and innovative concepts while meeting increased production demand and increasing employee morale at record levels. She also served as the first-ever Senior Advisor to the Secretary of the Treasury on issues of community development, public engagement, counterfeit deterrence, and Treasury’s Community Development Financial Institution Fund/New Market Tax Credit programs. Her signature appears on a worldrecord $1.7 trillion out of the $2 trillion in circulation worldwide.

Rios' entire career has focused on real estate finance, economic development and urban revitalization in both the public and private sectors. Prior to her presidential appointment in Treasury, she was Managing Director of Investments for MacFarlane Partners, a $22 billion real estate investment management firm based in San Francisco. In this capacity, she was responsible for several of MacFarlane Partners’ urban investment activities including sourcing, underwriting and structuring prospective investments and all relevant due diligence as well as overseeing projects during their development, stabilization and disposition. Other real estate/urban revitalization activities include the Director of Economic Development and/or Redevelopment for multiple cities such as Oakland, Fremont, San Leandro and Union City. She also consulted with the City of San Francisco Public Utility Commission and reported to the Assistant General Manager for Infrastructure on one of the nation’s largest capital improvement programs. She also served as a strategic advisor on behalf of the Washington D.C. City Administrator for the redevelopment of the Anacostia Waterfront. Her first job following college was as a Commercial Property Underwriter for General Reinsurance Corporation.

Rios is a graduate of Harvard University and was selected as the first Latina in Harvard’s 384-year history to have a portrait commissioned in her honor. The portrait was unveiled in Winthrop House in 2019. She currently serves on the board of American Family Insurance, Fidelity Charitable Trust, the Schlesinger Council at Harvard and the Advisory Committee for Artemis Real Estate Partners. She was previously a board member for the Alameda County Employees Retirement Association (ACERA) prior to her time in the Obama Administration. In 2018, she was appointed as an Executive Committee member of America 250, the Congressional Commission responsible for planning the 250th anniversary of the nation’s founding in 2026. Her personal passion includes serving as Founder and CEO of EMPOWERMENT 2020, an initiative that facilitates the physical recognition of historical American women in classrooms and public spaces across the country.

Speech Topics

Our Future Generations of Leadership: What Millennials and Post-Millennials Can Learn from Us and What We Can Learn from Them

Following Treasurer Rios’ historic tenure during her almost eight years in the U.S. Department of the Treasury as Treasurer of the United States, she became a Visiting Scholar at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Studies at Harvard. In 2016 she launched her first educational project, Teachers Righting History, followed by EMPOWERMENT 2020 at Harvard. She learned very quickly how her initiatives were resonating with girls AND boys and began her journey of focusing her efforts on Millennials and Post-Millennials. Learn how her findings about these next generations will impact the social, economic, and political fabric of our country and what we can to to guide them to become successful, engaged, healthy and empowered future leaders.

Inspirations and Aspirations: Using History to Influence the Present and Future of Our Women and Girls

As the first Senate-confirmed woman in the U.S. Department of the Treasury during the Obama administration and the only woman confirmed in Treasury in all of 2009, Treasurer Rios discusses her almost eight-year journey on how she evolved from her private world of finance to her public world of empowerment. From leading the efforts of Treasury’s annual Women in Finance Symposiums to the redesign of U.S. currency to place a woman on the front for the first time in over a century, Treasurer Rios’ goal is to make structural changes to how women and girls are valued in history and in what we see in our everyday lives from the classroom to the boardroom. As she continues her strategic partnerships to develop additional educational and public initiatives, hear how she successfully challenged and influenced her colleagues and eventually the nation - one male at a time. Her goal is to inspire Awareness and Action using history as a tool as we prepare for the suffrage centennial in 2020 and our nation’s 250th anniversary in 2026.

How to Inspire Your Organization to Do More with Less: A CEO Case Study of Saving $1 Billion While Increasing Production and Morale to Record Levels

Throughout her almost eight-year tenure as the CEO of the Bureau of Engraving and Printing and the United States Mint, Treasurer Rios used her business background to prepare her almost 4,000 employees to increase production as resources in the federal government continued to be limited. In doing so, not only was she able to save over $1 billion in the first five years, she also raised morale at both bureaus to unprecedented levels during record production while earning the respect of her colleagues and union partnerships to set a course for future success.

A History of the Financial Crisis and Lessons Learned for the Future

With the advent of the financial crisis in 2008 and the role that the federal government played to put the U.S. economy on the road to recovery, what did we learn from that process and how can we plan for continued stability? As one of the original members of the U.S. Department of the Treasury/Federal Reserve Transition Team and then Treasurer of the United States for the following seven years, Treasurer Rios provides her perspectives on lessons learned from her tenure during one of the most consequential times of our nation’s economic history.

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