Updated March 27 at 12:27am

Pagliarini named EDC chief of staff


PROVIDENCE – Acting on recommendations from the Rhode Island Public Expenditure Council, John R. “J.R.” Pagliarini has been named the R.I. Economic Development Council’s inaugural chief of staff, Gov. Lincoln D. Chafee announced Tuesday.

Pagliarini, who brings to the role nearly 30 years of experience in strategic planning, organizations development, government relations, policy development, marketing communications, program evaluation and performance management, will also serve as the primary EDC liaison to the governor’s office.

“RIPEC and others, in looking at economic development in the state of Rhode Island, have expressed the need for an individual who can ensure that the governor’s vision is being executed and that there is strong communication, coordination and accountability between the EDC and the governor’s office,” William J. Parsons, EDC executive director nominee and the managing director of business and community development, said in a statement.

“J.R. is a seasoned leader who is multi-talented in operational management as well as intergovernmental and public affairs experience to work with a range of external stakeholders,” added Parsons. “He knows how to build consensus, create accountability and motivate teams to do their best.”

The new chief of staff role is designed to establish a liaison between the governor and the EDC and to help the quasi-state agency with the long-term objective of making itself as effective as possible in its mission to help Rhode Island businesses.

“Restoring out state’s economy is among the greatest challenges facing our state. I welcome the opportunity to help restore confidence in the RIEDC by providing the assistance necessary to allow Rhode Island businesses to grow and create jobs,” said Pagliarini in a statement. “My many years of experience working in all three levels of government - federal, state, local - along with health care, education and the nonprofit community, gives me great insight into the needs of our state’s largest employers.”

Pagliarini has previously served as chief of staff and senior executive adviser for the city of Providence, associate commissioner of higher education and interim director of the Rhode Island College Foundation. He was also chief of staff for former Gov. Donald L. Carcieri, state director for Chafee when he was a U.S. senator, director of government relations for UnitedHealthcare and communications director for the city of Warwick.

Pagliarini, a Warwick resident, will begin his new role at the EDC on Jan. 4, 2013.


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