Nellie M. Gorbea, Secretary of State for the State of Rhode Island, will address the Class of 2017 at Rocky Hill School’s commencement exercises, Friday, June 9, 2017 at 10:00 a.m. To personalize her experience with the graduating seniors, Ms. Gorbea has met with the students during several informational lunch sessions over the last week.
Ms. Gorbea made history when she was sworn in as Secretary of State on January 6, 2015, becoming the first Hispanic elected to statewide office in New England. The Secretary of State is the state’s third ranking elected official, following the Governor and Lt. Governor. As Rhode Island’s chief elections officer, the Secretary of State registers voters, prepares ballots, and administers oaths of office. The Secretary of State also works with companies registered to do business in Rhode Island, and is charged with regulating lobbying activity in state government.
“Rhode Island is blessed with an extraordinary Secretary of State in Nellie Gorbea. Rocky Hill School is fortunate indeed to have its 2017 graduation class benefit from her wisdom as commencement speaker,” said Jim Tracy, Head of School at Rocky Hill School.
“One of the things that I enjoy most about being Secretary of State is speaking with civic-minded young people who are committed to bettering Rhode Island. I have enjoyed my conversations with Rocky Hill School students, hearing their ideas about what it means to be a good global citizen,” Secretary Gorbea said. “These are tomorrow’s leaders; whether in business, government, or the non-profit sector. We are counting on them!”
Originally from Puerto Rico, Ms. Gorbea is a graduate of Princeton University’s Woodrow Wilson School for Public and International Affairs and holds a master’s degree in public administration from Columbia University.