R.I. names new COVID-19 stimulus director

RHODE ISLAND's Department of Administration named Dorothy Z. Pascale as the new director of its Pandemic Recovery Office on Monday. The office oversees policy, coordination and compliance regarding the disbursement of federal stimulus funding. / PBN FILE PHOTO/ARTISTIC IMAGES

PROVIDENCE – The R.I. Department of Administration has hired a new director to oversee the state’s disbursement of federal COVID-19 stimulus funds.

Dorothy Z. Pascale, chief of the Office of Internal Audit for the past eight years, began serving as the director of the Pandemic Recovery Office on Monday. She will be charged with overseeing the $1.1 billion in federal stimulus funding that is heading to the state per passage of the American Rescue Plan.

Pascale, who has more than 30 years of accounting and auditing experience, is succeeding Jeremy Licht in the position. Licht resigned from the post on Friday, to pursue a new opportunity, the state said.

“I am excited that Dotty Pascale, who has a wealth of relevant knowledge and experiences, will take on this role,” said James E. Thorsen, acting director of the Department of Administration. “She is a dedicated public servant and will serve the state well in continuing to leverage federal resources in our pandemic response. I also appreciate Jeremy’s hard work and dedication over the last year to establish the office that is responsive and adaptable to this ever-evolving crisis.”

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The Pandemic Recovery Office was established in April of 2020 to serve as the state’s central office for policy coordination for federal stimulus funds. The office provides state agencies with policies and guidance pertaining to the disbursement and use of stimulus funds and oversees the COVID-19 Transparency Portal to provide information about how federal funds are being used.

“I look forward to serving in this new capacity within the Department of Administration and continuing to work closely with state agencies on fiscal matters related to the pandemic response,” said Pascale, who is a lifelong resident of Rhode Island. “The Pandemic Recovery Office remains committed to using federal stimulus funds responsibly and with appropriate oversight as we continue to assist Rhode Islanders during this time of need.”

“It has been an honor to serve as director of this office and help Rhode Island navigate this unprecedented crisis,” said Licht. “The experience has been one of the most rewarding of my career. The office is in very capable hands with Dotty, who has been an invaluable partner over the last year.”

The Pandemic Recovery Office is also coordinating policy and compliance for the disbursement of $1.25 billion the state received per the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act, through the Coronavirus Relief Fund.

Cassius Shuman is a PBN staff writer. Email him at Shuman@PBN.com.

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