James S. Bennett | Rhode Island Commerce


President and Chief Operating Officer

Jim Bennett joined the Rhode Island Commerce Corporation as President and Chief Operating Officer in April 2024.

In his new role at the Commerce Corporation, Jim will implement strategic programs and initiatives to drive economic growth and development throughout Rhode Island. He will work with small and large Rhode Island businesses, stakeholders and government leaders to identify and pursue opportunities that will cultivate a positive economic climate for all Rhode Islanders. As President & COO, Jim will oversee the daily operations of the Commerce Corporation, ensuring an effective and efficiently run quasi-state agency.

Jim has years of experience in both private industry and government. Over the course of his career, Jim created three start-up companies, he ran large corporations and organizations with over 800 employees, founded publicly traded companies, and worked in the highest levels of state government.

His most recent professional experience before joining the Commerce Corporation was with Prospect Medical Holdings where Jim was Executive Vice President. He managed all government relations for 17 hospitals across five states with over 28,000 employees. Prior to that, Jim was Director of Economic Development for the City of Providence where he managed five city departments, including economic development, planning and zoning and worked with small and large companies to promote business growth in the City of Providence. Jim has held numerous Board positions throughout his career. He was Chairman of the RI Convention Center Authority and Chairman of Justice Assistance. He served as a Board member on the Narragansett Bay Commission, Save The Bay, YMCA, Brown Hockey and Football Associations.

Jim is a graduate of Brown University where he played ice hockey. After graduating, Jim was drafted in the 8th round and played professional ice hockey for the Atlanta Flames organization for two years before beginning his professional career off the ice.

Back to All list arw2

James Bennett headshot