The Rhode Island Public Expenditure Council is a nonpartisan and nonprofit public policy research organization dedicated to advancing fiscally responsible government, competitive tax policies, and economic opportunities for all in Rhode Island.

Since its founding in 1932, RIPEC has worked to develop solutions to critical challenges facing the Ocean State by providing objective research and analysis. Focusing on the most pressing topics of the day, RIPEC has been at the forefront of major issues facing state and local government for almost nine decades.

A 501(c)(3) tax-exempt research organization, RIPEC is primarily supported through the annual contributions of its membership.

Our Mission

To advance fiscally responsible government, competitive tax policies, and economic opportunities for all in Rhode Island by providing objective and nonpartisan research and analysis.


Michael DiBiase

President & CEO

Michael DiBiase began serving as President & CEO of the Rhode Island Public Expenditure Council in January of 2020. Prior to his appointment as President & CEO, Michael served for five years as Director of Administration for the State of Rhode Island. His prior experience includes senior positions in government relations for Fidelity Investments, as well as serving as Chief of Staff for Rhode Island Governor Lincoln Almond. Michael is a graduate of Boston College and University of Pennsylvania Law School.

Justine Oliva, Ph.D.

Manager of Research

Justine Oliva joined the Rhode Island Public Expenditure Council in October 2018. Before joining the team, she earned a PhD in History from the University of New Hampshire. Her doctoral dissertation examines nineteenth-century American society and was completed with support from institutions like the University of Virginia Library and the American Antiquarian Society. Justine holds a BA in Secondary Education and History and an MA in History, both from the University of Rhode Island.

Ben Shumate

Policy Analyst

Ben Shumate joined the Rhode Island Public Expenditure Council in July 2021. Previous to joining the RIPEC team, he was Director of Public Affairs at the Mayforth Group. Ben is a 2019 graduate from Brown University, where he received a BA with concentrations in English and Economics. He was born and raised in Casper, Wyoming and now resides in Providence. 

Kathy Dennard joined the Rhode Island Public Expenditure Council in September 2021. She has previously served as a staff member at the Rhode Island Executive Office of Health and Human Services, Director of Constituent Affairs for Governor Donald Carcieri, a Policy Advisor for Governor Lincoln Almond, and a Legislative Assistant for U.S. House Representative Edward Beard. Kathy is a graduate of Rhode Island College, where she majored in Secondary Education and Political Science.

Benefits of Membership

Help develop solutions to the major issues facing our state

Work closely with other business, civic, and community leaders to ensure that state and local governments are run efficiently, and tax dollars are invested effectively. With your support, RIPEC will continue to provide trusted and objective analyses that help shape the solutions to Rhode Island’s most important challenges.
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