Secretary of Commerce
Elizabeth Tanner was appointed Rhode Island Secretary of Commerce in June 2022, under Governor Daniel McKee.
In her role, Secretary Tanner administers the Executive Office of Commerce, the state agency charged with promoting commerce and fostering an economic environment in which Rhode Island’s businesses can grow and prosper. To accomplish this goal, Secretary Tanner oversees multiple state departments, divisions, and quasi-governmental agencies.
Among those is the Rhode Island Commerce Corporation, a quasi-state agency which collaborates with public, private, and nonprofit partners to offer assistance to businesses through consulting, access to funding, and reduction of red tape.
From November 2017, and until her appointment as Secretary of Commerce, Liz served as Director of the Department of Business Regulation, under Governor Gina Raimondo. She oversaw the regulating and enforcement of all Financial Services, the Office of the State Fire Marshal (including the RI Bomb Squad), the State Building Office, the Office of Cannabis Regulation, Gaming and Athletics and a wide variety of professional licenses. She served as a board member to Rhode Island Housing and is believed to have been the only female Boxing Commissioner in the United States.
Known as a problem solver and a fierce advocate for governmental efficiency, Liz is well-recognized for her efforts to make it easier to do business in Rhode Island.
Liz began her career in government in 2015, serving as the Rhode Island Commerce Corporation’s Executive Vice President of Client Services. In that position, she worked closely with small businesses and was known for listening to, and working to resolve, the concerns raised by businesses, at the hundreds of events and meetings she attended or hosted.
A graduate of the University of Rhode Island and Western New England University Law School, Liz has also received training from Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government.