Friends of The Village – November 2021


Caroline Simmons

Get to know Caroline Simmons, Fairfield County native, former member of President Obama’s transition team and newly-elected Mayor of Stamford!

As a Fairfield County native, can you tell us how you’ve witnessed the area change over the years?

Fairfield County has changed significantly over the past several decades. In Stamford, we have seen the city grow to become the second largest city and the economic engine of the state with a vibrant business community. Stamford is a city that seniors, families, new graduates, students and children from all different backgrounds are proud to call home. We’re the economic engine of the state and I believe our best years are ahead of us.

How exciting is this time in Stamford?

Stamford has been making progress for years and we are at an opportune moment right now as we emerge from this pandemic to take our city to the next level and make Stamford one of the best cities in the country to live in, start a business in and raise a family in.

What was the most rewarding part about being on a presidential transition team? What was the most challenging part?

It was so inspiring to get to work on the Agency Review team within President Obama’s transition team, and witness firsthand the peaceful transfer of power. President Obama inspired a generation of young people to get involved in public service and I was so lucky to have the opportunity to work on his campaign and in his administration. It was a time of hope and optimism for the country.

What was it like working for the US Federal Government during your time with the Department of Homeland Security?

It was incredibly rewarding to work at the U.S. Department of Homeland Security with brave men and women who are on the frontlines keeping our country safe. We worked to protect cities nationwide from a range of threats, including cyber attacks, terrorist attacks, active shooter and natural disasters. During this time when I was Director of Special Projects in the Counterterrorism Coordinator’s Office, I traveled to Kabul, Afghanistan where our Border Patrol was helping to train the Afghan Border Patrol to stop the illicit flow of weapons along the Afghanistan-Pakistan border. I learned how important international, federal, state and local partnerships are to keeping our country safe. Our motto was “homeland security starts with hometown security,” and we worked with state and local law enforcement nationwide to provide training and tools to keep people safe. As Mayor, my top priority is to keep people safe and I hope to bring my experience working at the federal level to ensure Stamford is safe.

Can you tell us about your work with Yale University at Elevate: A Policy Lab to Elevate Mental Health and Disrupt Poverty?

At Elevate, we work to advance maternal mental health policies to lift families out of poverty and help families thrive. Our core program is called the MOMS Partnership®, where we work with low-income mothers or caregivers who are struggling with mental health issues, and provide evidence-based interventions to help reduce maternal depression and increase employment rates and economic mobility. My work focused on advancing federal, state and local policy solutions to support better maternal mental health for mothers. We know that when we lift up mothers we lift up families and communities.

November 15th is National Philanthropy Day – what are some of your favorite causes to support?

My favorite causes to support are Building One Community, Hope in Motion/Stamford Health, Inspirica, the Women’s Business Development Council and United Way.

What is your favorite thing about the city of Stamford? What is your favorite thing about The Village?

I love our diversity. The fact that our population speaks over 65 different languages and comes from all over the world is a wonderful thing and makes Stamford such an enriching place to live. I love the vibrancy and energy of the Village; it’s a space for entrepreneurial and artistic talent, and it brings people together around delicious food, conversation and drinks!


  • What is your favorite book? What are you currently reading?Favorite book: Founding Brothers: The Revolutionary Generation by Joseph Ellis. // Currently reading: Leadership in Turbulent Times by Doris Goodwin.
  • Favorite holiday? – Thanksgiving
  • What would your last meal be? – Lasagna
  • Favorite piece of advice that you’ve ever received? – Always treat others with kindness and a smile because you never know what someone is going through.