Rosie Rios

Honorary Degrees


East Bay​

The Honorable Rosie Rios has been an influential civic, business and government leader whose distinguished contributions have enriched California State University, East Bay, the broader East Bay region, California, our nation and the world.

Born to a family of eight siblings and raised by a single mother in Hayward, Ms. Rios earned a bachelor’s degree from Harvard University. She began her career in real estate finance, eventually serving more than 12 years in the public sector overseeing economic development in different cities, including Oakland. She was a trustee of the Alameda County Employee Retirement Association and a board member of the California Association of Local Economic Development and the Spanish-speaking Unity Council in Oakland.

Appointed and unanimously confirmed in July 2009 as the 43rd Treasurer of the United States, Ms. Rios oversaw the Bureau of Engraving and Printing, the United States Mint and Fort Knox. With nearly 4000 employees and eight facilities, Ms. Rios was responsible for all currency and coin production activities, saving more than $1 billion in taxpayer dollars in the first five years in office, while increasing employee morale at record levels.

While Treasurer, Ms. Rios led the effort to have women featured on United States currency for the first time in more than one hundred years. The initiative will represent women on the $5, $10 and $20 notes. Since leaving the Treasury, Ms. Rios has held a position as a visiting scholar at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard University. Ms. Rios also developed an educational project, Teachers Righting History, which focuses on working with classroom teachers to raise the awareness of important female figures in American history.

In recognition of her support of education and her civic, business and professional accomplishments, the Board of Trustees of the California State University and California State University, East Bay are proud to confer upon the Honorable Rosie Rios the honorary degree of Doctor of Laws.​​