Get to Know Scott
Warwick Mayor Scott Avedisian was born in Warwick and educated in the city’s public schools and in Washington, DC. He was graduated from Providence College, earned a Master’s in Public Administration from Roger Williams University, completed the state and local program at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government, and was awarded an Honorary Doctorate in Human Letters from the New England Institute of Technology. He was chosen in 2005 as one of 24 inaugural Aspen-Rodel fellows by the Aspen Institute, a bi-partisan group of elected officials charged with reclaiming the middle ground of American politics.
Avedisian was first elected in a special election in February 2000 with 58% of the vote in a five-way race. He was re-elected with nearly 70% of the vote that November. In every mayoral election since, he has carried all nine wards and has won every polling station in the city. Prior to his election as the 15th Mayor of the City of Warwick, he served five terms as a member of the Warwick City Council. This February, Mayor Avedisian became the longest-serving Mayor in Warwick history.
Mayor Avedisian, a former president of the Rhode Island League of Cities and Towns, has a long history of public service. Beginning in his high school days, he was a page to the late United States Senator John Chafee, a legislative aide for the Rhode Island Senate, and Deputy Campaign Manager for Rhode Island Governor Lincoln Almond.
During his tenure as mayor of Rhode Island’s second largest city, he has been a champion of human services reform and environmental protection. Among his most important accomplishment to date have been the creation and establishment of the Everett Wilcox Family Health Center and Dental Clinic, which provides health care for the uninsured and under-insured, and preservation of 41 acres of shoreline at the historic, iconic Rocky Point property.
During the Avedisian administration, more than 200 acres of open space have been acquired or protected, tough new coastal regulations were enacted, the state continues to be a recycling leader, and energy efficiencies in municipal buildings and elsewhere throughout Warwick have helped reduce emissions and saved money.
A big emphasis of his administration has been placed on children. Creating the city’s Truancy Court, establishing a network of wrap-around services to treat the child as a whole, and empowering young people through community service have been the hallmarks of the Avedisian administration.
Avedisian was tapped by Governor Lincoln Chafee to the Board of Directors of the Rhode Island Public Transit Authority, where he is presently board chairman. Avedisian is helping to spearhead a comprehensive reform of the state’s transit system, which will ultimately result in more effective customer service, system reforms, better day-to-day operations and more stringent financial accountability.
A lifelong Episcopalian whose family helped found Trinity Episcopal Church in historic Pawtuxet Village, where he still worships, Avedisian is president of the Episcopal Diocese of Rhode Island’s Standing Committee and has led nationwide search for a new Bishop to replace Geralyn Wolf, who is retiring this year.
A community activist, Avedisian has served as a member of the Board of Directors of St. Mary’s Home for Children for more than 20 years, and was recently elected an Honorary Vice President of the organization, a nod to his dedicated service to the agency. He is on the Board of Incorporators of Kent Hospital. He is also a Trustee of Ocean State Charities Trust, a Board member of Advisors of Friends Way, and a member of the Board of Directors for Crossroads Rhode Island.
He previously has served as President of the Gaspee Days Committee and has been a member of the Board of the following groups: Neighborhood Health Plans of Rhode Island, Committee on Resolutions for the Rhode Island Episcopal Diocese, Urban League of Rhode Island, Westbay Community Action, Pawtuxet Village Association, and Elmwood Community Center. He served two terms as the Vice Chairman of the Rhode Island Republican Party and has been elected to the Republican National Conventions since 1984. He also has been a member of the Martin Luther King, Jr. State Holiday Commission, the Housing Appeals Board, State Internship Commission, and State Criminal Justice Steering Committee.
Avedisian has been named a Paul Harris Fellow by Rotary International and was chosen to lead a US delegation to the Asia-Pacific Conference of Young Leaders in The Philippines in 1996. In 1997, he was chosen by the British government to be part of their European Union Series in Milan, Brussels, and London. In 1999 he led the American Council of Young Political Leaders delegation to Brazil. In 2006, he was one of eight US Mayors to be part of the Jerusalem Conference of Mayors in Israel.
Mayor Avedisian is the youngest person ever elected as Mayor and was the youngest person ever elected to the Warwick City Council.