The current governor of Rhode Island is Daniel McKee, a Democrat. He ascended to the position earlier this year after having been the state's lieutenant governor beforehand. His gubernatorial predecessor, Gina Raimondo, resigned to become the United States secretary of commerce.

The following Rhode Island gubernatorial election is scheduled for next year. Several high-profile challengers have already launched campaigns for the Democratic primary, with at least one more likely soon to enter the race. McKee could be in something of a vulnerable position even to secure the Democratic nomination.

Foulkes reportedly going to announce her candidacy

Former business executive Helena Foulkes is to run for Rhode Island governor. She's expected to put her name forward in the Democratic primary, joining a list of other big names.

Incumbent Governor Daniel McKee has decided to run for a term in his own right. Others include:

  • Sitting Secretary of State Nellie Gorbea.
  • Former Secretary of State Matt Brown.
  • Sitting Treasurer Seth Magaziner.

Foulkes grew up in Providence, the most populous city and capital of Rhode Island. She would receive a bachelor's degree from Harvard University, followed by a master's degree from Harvard Business School. In between earning her degrees, she worked for Tiffany & Co.

and Goldman Sachs.

During the 1990s, Foulkes began working for CVS Health, based in Woonsocket, Rhode Island, near Providence. Throughout her time with CVS, she would take part in various major decisions. Among them, to stop selling tobacco products. She oversaw the launches of the company's ExtraCare and Pharmacy Advisor programs.

Foulkes was also a key player in CVS buying the Target Corporation's prescription-filling business. The move would catapult CVS to becoming the biggest pharmacy retail store in the United States, surpassing Walgreens.

Eventually, while with CVS, Foulkes was chief marketing officer and executive vice president of the company.

By 2018, she left to become chief executive officer of the Canada-based Hudson's Bay Company. HBC is also the parent company of Saks Fifth Avenue. Foulkes left HBC in 2020 after the company made a move to go private.

Since then, she has become co-chief executive officer of BrightSpark Capital Corp. She's also a member of the board of directors for The Home Depot. Earlier this year, she was named to the Harvard Board of Overseers.

Foulkes has not previously run for political office. But in 2010, she was a member of the transition team for Independent Governor-Elect Lincoln Chafee. Her husband, Bill, is a member of the faculty at the Rhode Island School of Design.

She comes from a prominent Connecticut political family

Helena Foulkes' grandfather, Thomas J. Dodd, also spent several years living in Rhode Island. He was an FBI special agent, a staffer for several U.S. attorneys general, and a prosecutor at the Nuremberg Trials. Eventually, he settled, and his family settled in Connecticut. Dodd was elected to two terms in the U.S. House of Representatives and two in the U.S. Senate. In 1967, he was censured by his colleagues for misuse of campaign funds.

One of Dodd's sons, Thomas Jr., became a diplomat. Another, Christopher J. Dodd, followed his father's steps to Congress. First in the House, later in the Senate. In the latter, he chaired the Rules, Health, and Banking committees.

The younger Dodd was also a chair of the Democratic National Committee in the 1990s. After leaving Congress, he became the chief executive officer and chair of the Motion Picture Association of America.