A former U.S. Treasurer and current reality show host is replacing a Philly developer as head planner of America’s 250th anniversary – The Philadelphia Inquirer

A former U.S. Treasurer and current reality show host is replacing a Philly developer as head planner of America’s 250th anniversary – The Philadelphia Inquirer

Rosie Rios, co-host of the Unicorn Hunters, replaces Philadelphia developer Dan DiLella as head of the U.S. Semiquincentennial Commission.
President Joe Biden has named Rosie Rios, who was U.S. Treasurer under President Barack Obama and more recently cohost of the Unicorn Hunters business-entertainment show, to succeed Philadelphia developer Dan DiLella as chairman of the government’s U.S. Semiquincentennial Commission, which is planning America’s 250th anniversary.
DiLella, who presided over the commission’s sometimes stormy first four years, is “still on the board. I’m still involved. But I’m not a Democrat, and they had to get one,” DiLella told The Inquirer. “I’m surprised I was in that position so long.”
There could be a lot at stake for Philadelphia. Six of the 24 commission members are Pennsylvanians. Philadelphia gained massive infrastructure projects in each of the last three national 50-year celebrations of the American Revolution: Fairmount Park was developed in part for the 1876 Centennial, the South Philadelphia stadium district for the 1926 Sesquicentennial, and Independence Mall in advance of the 1976 Bicentennial, though that last celebration failed to gather the projected massive crowds.
In a statement, Rios pledged ”to build on all the progress made by Dan” and other members of the board of bipartisan government and business leaders, crediting him with helping secure more than $20 million from federal and private sources and noting that on his watch 30 states agreed to start anniversary commissions of their own.
The leadership also negotiated financial support or “partnerships” with pro sports leagues, Facebook, Comcast, Ernst & Young, and major law firms. But it has so far said little about what the actual celebrations of the 250th anniversary of U.S. independence in 2026 will include.
DiLella returned Rios’ compliments, saying Rios managed the group’s finance committee effectively and enjoyed broad backing from the board, including his own “100% support.”
DiLella had been the target of a small group of board members, including Philadelphia investor Andrew Hohns and former U.S. Rep. Joe Crowley (D., N.Y.), who accused DiLella and his allies of moving slowly, secretly, and within narrow circles of supporters.
After senior staffers quit and accused the commission in a lawsuit of sidelining them because they were women, DiLella won a narrow vote in March that confirmed the chairman’s broad powers to act for the board.
The Semiquincentennial has not outlined plans for a major celebration in Philadelphia, though state and city groups have been discussing how to mark the anniversary, as have similar groups in other parts of the country.
Rios is literally a household name: Her formal signature, Rosa Gumataotao Rios, appears on U.S. currency issued while she was treasurer.
Before serving in government, Rios, a Harvard graduate, was managing director of investments for MacFarlane Partners, a $22 billion real estate investment firm based in San Francisco.
She is currently chief executive of Red River Associates, an investment-management consulting firm, as well as cohost, along with Apple cofounder Steve Wozniak, of Unicorn Hunters, a show that focuses on investments in start-up companies.


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