KINGSTON, RI – January 17, 2023 – The University of Rhode Island today announced that former U.S. Representative James Langevin has been named a Visiting Scholar in the Department of Political Science.
Langevin retired this month after more than 20 years representing Rhode Island’s 2n/a Congressional District in the United States House of Representatives, where he was a senior member of the House Armed Services and Homeland Security Committees. The year-long appointment, which begins Jan. 23, continues Langevin’s long commitment to the state and the university during his time in Congress.
“I was proud to represent the University in the 2nd Congressional District all these years and am excited about this opportunity to continue to serve Rhode Islanders through my work with the state’s public research university,” Langevin said. “As a member of Congress, I have enjoyed working with URI leaders to support higher education, science, and research, including programs to strengthen the nation’s cybersecurity. I look forward to to engage with faculty and students this spring on new initiatives.
“I am delighted that URI has the opportunity to welcome Congressman Langevin as a visiting scholar this year,” said URI President Marc Parlange. “His distinguished career and dedication to initiatives that have strengthened the work we do here and improved the lives of all Rhode Islanders is truly impressive, and our community is blessed to have his insight and expertise on campus.”
Each semester during his appointment, Langevin will host a symposium on a topic related to national security or American citizenship and democracy, lending his expertise in both areas to attract national and international experts. He will also maintain an office on campus and attend select events, interacting regularly with URI students, faculty, and staff.
“I am thrilled to welcome Congressman Langevin to the College of Arts and Sciences,” said Dean Jen Riley. “I look forward to the programming he will lead in conjunction with our faculty of Cybersecurity, International Studies and Diplomacy, and International Relations. I know that our students will greatly benefit from the experiences and knowledge he will share with us.
Langevin’s appointment at URI coincides with a similar announcement at Brown University, where he will serve as a senior fellow at the Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs, starting this spring. He will also lead a study group, hold office hours and host a public event while at Watson.
First elected in 2000, Langevin completed 11 terms as a U.S. Representative this month, ending a strong tenure in which he was a leading voice on issues including cybersecurity, health care reform, the environment and disability advocacy. The first quadriplegic to serve in Congress, he was the first wheelchair user to be a pro tempore speaker and first Speaker of the United States House on 20e anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act.
As a senior member of the House Armed Services Committee, where he served his entire congressional term, Langevin served as chairman of the Emerging Threats and Capabilities Subcommittee, later called the Cyber, Innovative Technologies and Information Systems Subcommittee, a position he served from in 2011. As a national security expert, Langevin helped shape the direction of the Department of Defense, leading the way in an increased emphasis on harnessing emerging technologies.
In 2003, he was a founding member of the House Committee on Homeland Security, serving on numerous subcommittees throughout his time in Washington. An expert in cybersecurity policy, he founded and co-chaired the House Cybersecurity Caucus and served on the CSIS Cybersecurity Commission for the 44e presidency. Langevin was recently appointed to and served on the Cyberspace Solarium Commission, created by Congress to develop a comprehensive strategy to protect the country from high-consequence cyberattacks.
Langevin previously served as State Representative in the General Assembly from 1988 to 1994 and Secretary of State for Rhode Island from 1995 to 2001. In addition to a bachelor’s degree in political science and public administration from Rhode Island College, Langevin holds a a master’s degree in public sciences. administration of the Kennedy School of Harvard University.
During Langevin’s tenure in the House, URI achieved national recognition in cybersecurity education and other areas of national security.
In 2011, Langevin commissioned the University’s Cybersecurity Symposium to raise awareness of the need to prepare students and workers for technology-enabled jobs. A year later, URI was named the National Center of Academic Excellence in Information Assurance Education – the nation’s leading academic certification for cybersecurity education – by the National Security Agency and the US Department of Homeland Security. And in 2021, URI was added to the National Science Foundation’s CyberCorps: Scholarship for Service program, which helps train the nation’s future cybersecurity workforce. In 2008, the Department of Homeland Security designated URI as co-convener of a new Center of Excellence for Explosives Detection, Mitigation, and Response.