M. Jodi Rell was born in Norfolk, Virginia. She attended Old Dominion University and Western Connecticut State University. She received honorary doctor of law degrees from the University of Hartford in 2001 and the University of New Haven in 2004. She served in the Connecticut House of Representatives, where she held key leadership posts including Deputy House Minority Leader and Assistant House Minority Leader. Rell served as Lieutenant Governor for over nine years where she launched efforts to guarantee that Connecticut schools and libraries have access to technology and that students are “cyber-ready” by the sixth grade. She also championed initiatives to recognize those who bravely served the country and Connecticut communities, such as veterans and firefighters.
As the first woman Republican Governor of Connecticut, Rell has made it a priority to strengthen Connecticut’s’ economy by creating a skilled workforce, making Connecticut business-friendly, and providing incentives to encourage job creation. She led “Team Connecticut” saving the Groton/New London Submarine Base from closure and 31,000 jobs statewide and championed legislation to invest $100 million in stem cell research in Connecticut. Rell generated faith and integrity to state government by proposing and signing into law landmark campaign finance reforms and created a stronger, restructured State Ethics Commission. Her leadership is helping to break the state’s transportation gridlock through her historic investments in railways, busways, highways and ports.
Rell has made unprecedented investments in innovative early childhood programs to ensure children begin school ready to learn. She also signed into law two balanced and on-time state budgets that honored the state’s spending cap, fills the state’s “Rainy Day” budget reserve fund and invested in other critical priorities.
Over the past several years, Rell has earned state and national recognition for her campaign finance reforms, contributions to the field of bioscience in Connecticut, achievements in the search for a cure for breast cancer and her humanitarian qualities for the less fortunate.
She and her husband, Lou, have made their home in Brookfield, Connecticut for many years. They have two grown children: their daughter Meredith, her husband Matthew O’Conner and their son Tyler; and their son Michael and his fiancé Maura Cenci.more » « less