SMITHFIELD, RI – Two Bryant economists, President Ross Gittell, Ph.D., and Faculty Fellow and incoming Executive Director of Institutional Effectiveness and Strategy Edinaldo Tebaldi, Ph.D., are joining the Rhode Island Foundation’s new initiative, “Make it Happen: Investing for Rhode Island’s Future,” to help develop recommendations for spending up to $1 billion in broad new stimulus funding the state is projected to receive from the federal American Rescue Plan Act (ARP).
“We are proud that members of the Bryant University community are able to contribute to this important initiative."
Prominent Bryant alumni Jessica David '10MBA, consultant and former executive vice president of strategy and community investments at the Rhode Island Foundation, and John Galvin ’91MBA, President & CEO at AAA Northeast, are also among the top Rhode Island leaders who will contribute to the effort. Rhode Island Foundation President and CEO Neil Steinberg received a Bryant honorary degree in 2015.
“We are also grateful to the Rhode Island Foundation for convening this committee for a strategic and equitable approach to investing in our state to create a better future for all Rhode Islanders.”
“We are proud that members of the Bryant University community are able to contribute to this important initiative,” said President Ross Gittell. “We are also grateful to the Rhode Island Foundation for convening this committee for a strategic and equitable approach to investing in our state to create a better future for all Rhode Islanders.”
The committee, with the support of the Economic Progress Institute (EPI) and the Rhode Island Public Expenditure Council (RIPEC), will develop recommendations over the next six months. The findings will be shared with Gov. Dan McKee and leaders of the General Assembly to inform their decisions. The Foundation will fund the initiative.
The Foundation’s initiative will address the over $1 billion in discretionary funding that state government is projected to receive under ARP. It will not address additional ARP funding to the state that is already earmarked for specific uses nor will it address the ARP funding that cities and towns are scheduled to receive but will coordinate with municipalities on their efforts.
“This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. Strategically invested, we can responsibly and creatively leverage these taxpayer dollars to hopefully change the trajectory of the state for generations to come,” said Steinberg, adding that the Foundation "has assembled a diverse, representative, local steering committee to brainstorm and oversee a virtual public engagement process, and to ultimately formulate a set of recommended investments for consideration by the Governor and the General Assembly.”
The steering committee members are:
- Marcela Betancur, executive director of the Latino Policy Institute
- Jessica David, consultant and former executive vice president of strategy and community investments at the Rhode Island Foundation
- Ditra Edwards, executive director of Sista Fire
- John Friedman, professor of economics and international and political affairs at Brown University
- John Galvin, president and CEO of AAA Northeast
- Marie Ganim, former state health insurance commissioner and former state Senate policy director
- Ross Gittell, president of Bryant University
- Rajiv Kumar, technology entrepreneur and founder ShapeUp
- Tony Maione, former president and CEO of the United Way of R.I.
- Anna Cano Morales, associate vice president for diversity, equity and inclusion at Rhode Island College
- Nina Pande, executive director of Skills for Rhode Island’s Future
- Megan Ranney, MD, associate professor of emergency medicine and associate dean of the School of Public Health at Brown University
- Nic Retsinas, director emeritus, Harvard Joint Centers for Housing Studies
- Don Stanford, adjunct professor of computer science at Brown University and former chief technology officer at GTECH
- Edinaldo Tebaldi, professor of economics and executive director of institutional effectiveness and strategy at Bryant University.
More information on the Rhode Island Foundation’s “Make it Happen: Investing for Rhode Island’s Future” is available at RIFoundation.org.
The Rhode Island Foundation is the largest and most comprehensive funder of nonprofit organizations in Rhode Island. Working with generous and visionary donors, the Foundation raised $68 million and awarded a record $87 million in grants in 2020. Since its centennial five years ago, the Foundation has awarded more than $284 million in grants and has raised more than $328 million. Through leadership, fundraising and grant-making activities, often in partnership with individuals and organizations, the Foundation is helping Rhode Island reach its true potential.
About Bryant University
For 158 years, Bryant University has been at the forefront of delivering an exceptional education that anticipates the future and prepares students to be innovative leaders of character in a changing world. Bryant delivers an innovative and uniquely integrated business and liberal arts education that inspires students to excel. With approximately 3,700 graduate and undergraduate students from 38 states and 49 countries, Bryant is recognized as a leader in international education and regularly receives top rankings from U.S. News and World Report, Money, Bloomberg Businessweek, Wall Street Journal, and Barron's. Visit www.Bryant.edu.