Rosie Rios
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Rosie Rios

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.
43rd Treasurer of the U.S.; Visiting Scholar at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard University

Expertise In:

  • U.S. Current Events
  • U.S. Foreign Policy
  • Global Economy and Trade
  • Teamwork
  • American Politics

Audience & Industry

  • Associations
  • Corporations
  • Colleges and Universities
  • Non-Profits
  • Sales Professionals

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.

Rosie Rios is the CEO of Red River Associates, a real estate consulting firm, and has recently completed her term as a Visiting Scholar at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard University. She was the 43rd Treasurer of the United States and is most recently known for initiating and leading the efforts to place the portrait of a woman on the front of U.S. currency for the first time in over a century. In 2016 she received the Hamilton Award, the highest honor bestowed in the U.S. Department of the Treasury. Rosie 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.

In her role as Treasurer of the United States, Rosie was the CEO of the Bureau of Engraving and Printing and the U.S. 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. Her signature currently appears on a world-record $1.69 trillion of U.S. currency out of the approximately $1.71 trillion in circulation worldwide.

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 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 and stabilization. Other real estate/urban revitalization activities include serving as the Director of Economic Development and/or Redevelopment for multiple cities such as Oakland, Fremont, San Leandro and Union City. She 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. Her first job following college was as a Commercial Property Underwriter for General Reinsurance Corporation.

Rosie is a graduate of Harvard University and was selected as the first Latina in Harvard’s 383-year history to have a portrait commissioned in her honor. She currently serves on the board of Fidelity Charitable Trust, the Schlesinger Council at Harvard and the Advisory Committee for Artemis Real Estate Partners. She was previously a Trustee with the Alameda County Employees Retirement Association (ACERA). In 2018, she was appointed as a member of America 250, the Congressional Commission to commemorate 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. Its first project, Teachers Righting History, recognizes historical American women in classrooms across the country. She has also launched Notable Women, an Augmented Reality educational initiative in collaboration with Google. She remains active in real estate finance and is consulting on several transformational projects in the Bay Area under her “RESCUE” initiative: Real Estate for Socially Conscious Urban Empowerment.

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.

Featured Experiences

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 do 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 initiating the efforts to place a woman on the front of our nation’s currency for the first time in over a century to starting Treasury’s annual Women in Finance Symposiums leading to the cover of Time Magazine, 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.

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.

My Life in Treasury and the Birth of an Accidental Feminist

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.

Main Street Meets Wall Street Meets K Street: The Intersection Between Financial Markets, Government and Its Citizens and Why It Matters Today

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.

How to Inspire Your Organization to Do More with Less: A CEO Case Study of Saving $1 Billion While Increasing 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 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.