One of his first acts as Governor was to reorganize the state's Department of Economic Development, establishing a quasi-public agency charged with providing Rhode Island's employers with the tools needed to remain competitive and fuel job growth.
As chairman of the board of directors of the RI Economic Development Corporation, Governor Almond took an active role in encouraging economic expansion in Rhode Island. In 1995, the Governor announced that Fidelity Investments, the multi-billion dollar mutual fund giant, would build a major facility in northern RI, leading to the creation of up to 2,500 quality jobs. In May 1997, the Governor joined Fleet Bank Chairman and CEO Terrence Murray to announce the bank's plan to build a Regional Service Center in northern RI, eventually employing up to 2,000 workers. The Governor continued his push for new job development, working aggressively to promote the port at Quonset Point/Davisville as one of the state's premier economic development assets that will fuel the state's economy in the next century.
Economic development was not new to Governor Almond. He is the former President of the Blackstone Valley Development Foundation, Inc., considered the most successful private, non-profit land development organization in the state. He has also served as vice chairman of the Northern Rhode Island Economic Development Partnership.
Almond was a member of the National Governors' Association (NGA) where he served on the Economic Development Committee. He also served on NGA's Legal Affairs Committee, which advises fellow governors on whether or not the NGA should take legal positions on matters pending before the U.S. Supreme Court. Almond was the 1998 Chair of the Coalition of Northeastern Governors (CONEG) and the 1997 Chair of the New England Governors' Conference.
Prior to his election as Rhode Island's 56th Governor, Lincoln Almond served as U.S. Attorney for over 20 years, receiving his original appointment to that post in 1969. He was re-appointed by President Reagan in 1981 and served until 1993. He emphasized enforcement in the area of organized crime, drugs and white collar crime, including corruption.
Prior to his service as U.S. Attorney, Almond was appointed Town Administrator of Lincoln, RI in 1963 and elected to full terms in 1963, 1965 and 1967. As administrator, Almond emphasized economic development, significant water system capital improvements to support development, and an ambitious school construction program. Concerned about conservation, he supported a program which today maintains a third of Lincoln as open space.
Lincoln Almond earned a law degree from Boston University in 1961 and a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Rhode Island in 1959. A life-long Rhode Island resident, Almond is a graduate of Central Falls High School and was inducted into the Central Falls Hall of Fame in 1992--only the fourth person so honored. He is married to the former Marilyn Johnson of Woonsocket, also a URI graduate, and they have two grown children and five grandchildren.