Bob Walsh graduated with degrees in Political Science and Organizational Behavior and Management from Brown University and received his Master of Science in Labor and Industrial Relations from the University of Rhode Island. After a decade in banking and finance, he joined the National Education Association Rhode Island staff in 1992 and was named Executive Director of NEARI in 2001, retiring from that position in 2022.
Active in his “retirement,” Bob currently serves as Vice Chairman of the Board of Professional Facilities Management, the Providence-based company that provides management services to entertainment facilities throughout the country, including PPAC and the Vets in Providence. He also serves as Co-chair of the Secretary of State’s Archives Working Group, which seeks to build a Rhode Island State Archives and History Center, and as Board Chair of Always Learning Rhode Island, founded to provide support to Governor McKee’s Learn365RI initiative. He has proudly served as emcee for Clean Water Action’s annual Breakfast of Champions for over 20 years.
In the last thirty years, Bob has served in leadership roles on dozens of boards, including the RI AFL-CIO, Working Rhode Island, Ocean State Action, the Beacon Mutual Insurance Company, WaterFire Providence, and the Providence Water Supply Board, as well as numerous state government boards, study commissions, and transition teams. Bob graduated from Leadership Rhode Island in the original Mu class in 1992 and served on the LRI Board from 1994-1996 and again from 2006-2008.
Bob is a frequent guest commentator on “A Lively Experiment” on RIPBS, an occasional political contributor to Ian Donnis’ TGIF column, and was named as one of “24 to watch in 2024” by the Providence Journal. He considers all of Rhode Island to be his hometown.