U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gina M. Raimondo is the recipient for the 2022 Heronemus Award for Outstanding Achievement in Offshore Wind for her defining work that germinated the offshore wind industry in the United States.
During her tenure as the 75th Governor of Rhode Island (2015-2021), Raimondo kick-started the state’s economy and made record investments in infrastructure, education, and job training – including the offshore wind industry. Under her leadership, Rhode Island became home to the first U.S. offshore wind project when developer Deepwater Wind installed a five-turbine, 30 MW array in state waters near Block Island in 2016. As a consensus builder, she played a key role in the Block Island development, which was completed after rigorous planning that included buy-in to minimize conflicts between all ocean users. Working toward her goal to meet 100 percent of the state’s electricity needs through renewable power, she also championed the development of another project nearly ten times larger – Revolution Wind.
Raimondo continues to advocate for offshore wind as the U.S. Secretary of Commerce (2021- ). In March 2021 she was part of the White House Round Table that announced an initiative to deploy 30 GW of offshore wind in the U.S. by 2030. She oversees several departments key to offshore wind growth in the U.S., including the International Trade Office, which serves to promote U.S. exports and support investment in local supply chains, the National Institute of Standards and Technology, which promotes innovation and industrial competitiveness, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), which plays a key role in informing on climate change and the environment.