43rd Treasurer of the United States
Former Treasurer Rosie Rios became an Accidental Educator, Historian and Feminist as one of the longest serving senior Treasury officials in the Obama Administration starting with her time on the Treasury/Federal Reserve Transition Team at the height of the financial crisis in 2008. She continues her work to empower the next generation of leadership as a Visiting Scholar at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study and focuses on evolving our culture one Millennial/post-Millennial at a time.
As the 43rd Treasurer of the United States, Rosie Rios initiated and led the historic effort to place a portrait of a woman on our Federal Reserve notes for the first time in U.S. history. In her role as Treasurer of the United States, Rosie was the Chief Executive Officer of the Bureau of Engraving and Printing and the United States Mint, including Fort Knox.
Her day-to-day responsibilities included overseeing all currency and coin production activities 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. Rosie’s 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, Rosie was Managing Director of Investments for a $22 billion real estate investment management firm based in San Francisco. Following her time in Treasury, Rosie launched her first educational project, Teachers Righting History, on August 26, Equality Day, to recognize historical American women in classrooms across the country and continues to consult on large urban revitalization efforts across the country.
Rosie is a graduate of Harvard University and was selected as the first Latina in Harvard’s 380-year history to have a portrait commissioned in her honor. In January 2018, she was appointed as a member of USA 250, a Congressional Commission to commemorate the 250th anniversary of the nation’s founding in 2026.
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 the 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 our country’s history, hear how she successfully challenged and influenced her colleagues and eventually the nation - one male at a time.
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.
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 while earning the respect of her colleagues and union partnerships and set a course for future success. As the first Treasurer of the United States to have her portfolio, Treasurer Rios used her business background to implement operational efficiencies and innovative concepts to invest back into her employees. By designing and creating employee-led programs such as the Strategic Alignment Initiative to establish unprecedented peer-to-peer relationships between the two bureaus and through her “Making American History” initiative, employees were empowered to pursue creative solutions to streamline their processes and utilize basic manufacturing principles including Lean Six Sigma and project management certification, among others. Learn how her teams saved money while making money and how both bureaus were able to own their training and development, scale their ideas, and provide maximum flexibility.