Gov.-elect Raimondo considering Barbara Cottam for chief of staff

Nov 20, 2014

Governor-elect Gina Raimondo is considering Citizens Bank executive Barbara Cottam for a top position in her new administration, according to Statehouse sources.

Cottam, who has vast experience in both the private and political sectors in Rhode Island, is under consideration for chief of staff, one of the most important positions in any gubernatorial administration.

Cottam has worked in Rhode Island politics since the administration of the late Gov. J. Joseph Garrahy. (She married to the Garrahy’s son, John Garrahy, a Providence lawyer. The couple has two daughters who are students at La Salle Academy).She was also press secretary to former Providence Mayor Joseph R. Paolino Jr., and former Gov. Bruce Sundlun.

Cottam, known for her smarts and Herculean work ethic,  is a native Rhode Islander who is a graduate of Lincoln School and Providence College. (She is a rabid PC basketball fan).

Raimondo declined comment on personnel decisions in her new administration, saying only that she hopes to have a team in place as soon as possible. All of the directors and Cabinet-level  appointees of outgoing Gov. Lincoln Chafee have been asked to resign and reapply for jobs if they want to stay on.

You can hear Raimondo’s interview with Rhode Island Public Radio on Political Roundtable and our Bonus Q&A session tomorrow (Friday) morning on Morning Edition. She talks about jobs and the economy, taxes, her relationship with Chafee and the General Assembly leadership, among other topics.