PROVIDENCE, RI – Mayor Jorge O. Elorza today announced that
Melissa Malone will serve as Providence’s Chief Operating Officer where she
will oversee all of the City of Providence’s operational functions while
serving as senior advisor to the Mayor. She will begin work on August 28,
“Melissa brings a strong record of leadership and invaluable
municipal and executive management experience,” said Mayor Elorza. “I’m pleased
to welcome her and the other new members of our team.”
Most recently, Malone has served as Principal of M2
Consulting after founding the firm in May 2016. M2 specializes in providing a
range of services such as: contract analysis; project and compliance
management; strategic planning, design and evaluation; data curation and
analysis; and policy creation to municipalities and non-profits.
“I am honored and excited to be joining Mayor Elorza’s team.
He truly recognizes that the vitality of Providence is critical to Rhode
Island’s future - as Providence flourishes so shall all of Rhode Island,” said
Malone. “I look forward to working with the Mayor, the Council, and the
dedicated employees of the City of Providence to continue to move Providence
Prior, Malone served as Municipal Finance Counsel for the
State of Rhode Island where she functioned as Governor Gina Raimondo’s liaison
to the Division of Municipal Finance. In her role she focused on distressed
communities, fire districts, municipal directives, pensions, healthcare
benefits, and related litigation.
Malone also served as General Counsel and Deputy Treasurer
for then Rhode Island State Treasurer Raimondo. In her capacity in the
Treasurer’s Office, she oversaw legal aspects of all office operations. She was
also a designated representative for the State of Rhode Island Retirement Board
Committees, Pension Study Commission, and bond issuances. Before taking on the
role of General Counsel and Deputy Treasurer, Malone served as Assistant
Director of Member Services for the Treasurer’s Office.
Malone received a Bachelor of Arts from Trinity College in
Hartford, Connecticut before earning a Juris Doctorate from the University of
Connecticut School of Law. Past work experience includes roles at Barton &
Gilman, LLP. and Fidelity Investments. She is admitted to the State of Rhode
Island Bar and served on the Providence Public School Board from 2009 to 2011.
In addition to announcing a new Chief Operating Officer, the
Mayor announced that Sabrina Solares-Hand, a graduate of Johnson & Whales
University and former External Affairs Associate for Blackstone Valley Prep
Mayoral Academy will be serving as Associate Director of Purchasing. Prior to
her role at Blackstone Valley Prep, Solares-Hand oversaw corporate and social
sector events as Event Director for the Savory Affair Event Planning and Design
firm. Her duties included overseeing contracted staff and vendors and
developing and implementing strategic marketing and sales plans. Additionally,
Grace Diaz, a member of the Rhode Island House of Representatives who has been
serving as Senior Adviser on Community Relations for the Mayor, will be
transitioning to MBE/WBE Outreach Director for the city. Diaz is a former small
business owner, licensed realtor, and earned bachelor and master degrees from
Springfield College, in Springfield, Massachusetts.
The Mayor also announced that April Brown, a graduate of
American University who received a Master’s in Education from the University of
Rhode Island, will take on the role of Turnaround Arts Program Director.
Turnaround Arts is a signature program of the President’s Committee on the Arts
and the Humanities and the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts that
will bring integrated arts education into three Providence public middle
schools. Xenia Walker, who has worked for the Providence Public School
Department as a Drama and English teacher at Gilbert Stuart Middle School since
2004, has taken on the role of Implementation Coordinator for the program.