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Lt Governor Roberts - Rhode Island Interview

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Lieutenant Governor Elizabeth Roberts is a distinguished individual with an authentic and unique career path that significantly contributed to her admirable work-ethic and practical perspective on leadership.

Mrs. Roberts grew up in Northern Virginia, just outside Washington, D.C., surrounded by people serving in the federal government; to include her Father, a Navy Flight Officer who held the rank of Captain. After graduating from Brown University, Rhode Island in 1978 with a degree in human biology, she went on to earn an MBA in health care management from Boston University in 1984 while working as a researcher and health care manager at the Memorial Hospital in Pawtucket. Since then, Mrs. Roberts has worked as a business strategy consultant, policy director for former Providence Mayor Joseph R. Paolino, and policy advisor to former Governor Bruce Sundlun. From 1997 to 2006, Mrs. Roberts served as a State Senator, where she deliberately developed expertise on health-care policy that lead to the reformation of Blue Cross and creation of the Office of Health Insurance Commissioner. In January of 2007, Mrs. Roberts made history when she was elected as the first female Lieutenant Governor of the state of Rhode Island.

Lieutenant Governor Roberts' motivation to choose a career in politics intensified at the age of 39 when she volunteered on a friend's campaign. While growing up, she was surrounded by friends families were of military affiliation and others for the federal government. Feeling as though she was always surrounded by some type of political aspect, Lieutenant Governor Roberts' felt she was destined for a career in politics. Spending most of her career in the medical system, she has a passion for health forum and the complex policy issues that surrounds it. Lieutenant Governor Roberts has been a true health care advocate and recognizes the importance and the challenge of ensuring access to quality health care services for all Rhode Islanders since her time in the Legislature. Other politicians steer clear of healthcare issues which has helped Lieutenant Governor Roberts stand apart from the rest of her peers.

At the beginning of Lieutenant Governor Roberts' first term, she had one secretary assigned to her department and that secretary simultaneously supported 6 dignitaries. She had a chance to incorporate various types of knowledgeable people, of which she made it clear to them that their opinions were valued and have "a place at the table", in turn motivates the personnel on her staff to work hard and always to put forth their best. Lieutenant Governor Roberts' Director of Public and Community Relations, Maria Tocco, felt "appreciated and that they [the staff] were continually thanked". Weekly collaborative meetings held serves as an opportunity to receive feedback from, not just her staff, but also colleagues to address areas of concern for improvement.

If anything has changed after becoming an elected official about her leadership style, it is that she has become a better listener. When Roberts was a stay-at home mother she would read the daily newspaper and during she was quick to come to a conclusion and decision about what she was reading. Now she is not so judgmental about what she thinks about a particular article and gets other peoples opinion before reacting. She listens not to just the people on her staff at the table, but to the public. Two achievements that Lieutenant Governor Roberts is proud of are first, how well she separates her work from her family life and being married for over 25 years. Second is the fact that in the state of Rhode Island, the Lieutenant Governor

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