PROVIDENCE, RI - Rhode Island Director of Elderly Affairs Charles J. Fogarty has announced his intention to retire later this year after four decades of public service. Director Fogarty has served in numerous local- and state-leadership positions over the course of his career, most recently leading the Division of Elderly Affairs during a time when the older adult population in Rhode Island is rapidly increasing, with seniors continuing to remain in the workforce and living in the community.
"Charlie has dedicated his entire professional life to Rhode Island and we thank him for his decades of service to our state," said Governor Gina M. Raimondo. "He has been a close and trusted friend and colleague. Going back to his time as Lieutenant Governor, Charlie has been one of the most vocal advocates for Rhode Island's seniors. Under his leadership, we expanded support for Meals on Wheels. Charlie also played an important role in our successful repeal of the tax that seniors pay on their Social Security. And in part because of his advocacy, the budget I submitted last week doubles state funding for our senior centers. Rhode Island is a better place because of Charlie's steadfast commitment to improving the lives of seniors and all Rhode Islanders. We wish him all the best in his retirement from public service."
The Governor plans to identify and appoint a candidate with extensive human services experience focused on the aging population as Elderly Affairs Director.
"Throughout my career, I have felt drawn to serve the people of Rhode Island. I look back fondly and feel fortunate to be a part of the forward progress Rhode Island is experiencing--particularly working with Governor Raimondo to empower seniors and help them to remain independent and living in the community," said Director Fogarty. "The many devoted employees and passionate advocates I've had the pleasure of working with have made a lasting impression upon me. I appreciate the opportunity Governor Raimondo, her predecessors, and the citizens of Rhode Island have given me to serve this state."
During his years of service, Director Fogarty has been focused on long term care and home- and community-based services and supports for older Rhode Islanders. Director Fogarty played a key role in steering and expanding the work of the Long Term Care Coordinating Council during his tenure as Lieutenant Governor. Under his leadership at the Department of Labor and Training, he reformed the unemployment insurance process. During his stewardship at Elderly Affairs, Director Fogarty has led a division providing services and advocacy for over 166,500 older adults living in Rhode Island.
"Charlie will leave behind a legacy of service to Rhode Islanders. He's been an invaluable member of our team and a stalwart advocate for Rhode Island's older adults and their caregivers," remarked Eric J. Beane, Secretary of the Executive Office of Health and Human Services. "His commitment to enriching the lives of the people of Rhode Island has been unwavering, and the foundation he leaves at the Division of Elderly Affairs will continue to preserve their independence."
Director Fogarty, a native Rhode Islander, began his career in public service in 1978 as a junior policy advisor for Governor J. Joseph Garrahy. He was elected to the Glocester Town Council in 1984 and in 1990 was elected as a state senator. He served as lieutenant governor from 1999 to 2007, having the distinction of being the last lieutenant governor to preside over the State Senate. From 2011 to 2015, Fogarty served as the director of the Department of Labor and Training. He completed his bachelor's degree studies at Providence College and received his MPA at the University of Rhode Island. After his retirement from state service, Director Fogarty will continue to serve on the faculty at Johnson & Wales University, as Adjunct Professor of Leadership Studies.