Former Congressman James Langevin to serve as visiting scholar at URI

KINGSTON, R.I. – Jan. 17, 2023 – The University of Rhode Island announced today that former U.S. Rep. James Langevin has been appointed a visiting scholar in the Department of Political Science.

Langevin retired this month after more than 20 years representing Rhode Island’s 2nd Congressional District in the U.S. House of Representatives, where he was a senior member of House Committees on Armed Services and Homeland Security. The one-year appointment, which begins Jan. 23, continues Langevin’s long commitment to the state and the University while 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,” said Langevin. “As a member of Congress, I’ve enjoyed working with URI leadership to support higher education, science and research, including programs to strengthen the nation’s cybersecurity. I look forward to engaging with faculty and students this spring on new initiatives.”

“I am so pleased that URI has the opportunity to host Congressman Langevin as a visiting scholar this year,” URI President Marc Parlange said. “His remarkable career and his dedication to initiatives that have bolstered the work we do here and improved the lives of all Rhode Islanders is truly impressive and our community is fortunate 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 U.S. civics and democracy, lending his expertise in both areas to attract national and international experts. He also will maintain an office on campus and attend select events, interacting regularly with URI students, faculty, and staff.

“I am excited to welcome Congressman Langevin to the College of Arts and Sciences,” said Dean Jen Riley. “I’m looking forward to the programming he will lead in conjunction with our faculty in cybersecurity, international studies and diplomacy, and international relations. I know our students will benefit greatly 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 senior fellow in the Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs, starting this spring. He will also run a study group, hold office hours, and host a public event during his time at Watson.

First elected in 2000, Langevin this month wrapped up 11 terms as a U.S. representative, ending a robust tenure during which he was a leading voice on such issues as cybersecurity, health-care reform, the environment, and advocacy for people with disabilities. The first quadriplegic to serve in Congress, he was the first wheelchair user to serve as speaker pro tempore and first presided over the U.S. House on the 20th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act.

As a senior member of the House Armed Services Committee, where he served his entire tenure in Congress, Langevin was chair of the Emerging Threats and Capabilities Subcommittee, later to be called the Cyber, Innovative Technologies and Information Systems Subcommittee, a post he held starting in 2011. As an expert on national security, Langevin helped shape the focus of the Department of Defense, paving the way for a heightened 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 Commission on Cybersecurity for the 44th presidency. Langevin most recently was appointed and served on the Cyberspace Solarium Commission, created by Congress to develop an overarching strategy to protect the country against cyberattacks of significant consequence.

Langevin previously served as a state representative in the General Assembly from 1988 to 1994, and as Rhode Island’s secretary of state from 1995 to 2001. Along with bachelor’s degrees in political science and public administration from Rhode Island College, Langevin holds a master’s degree in public administration from the Kennedy School at Harvard University.

During Langevin’s tenure in the House, URI achieved national recognition in cybersecurity education and other national security areas.

In 2011, Langevin commissioned the University’s Cybersecurity Symposium to raise awareness of the need to prepare students and workers for technology-based jobs. A year later, URI was named a National Center of Academic Excellence in Information Assurance Education—the nation’s premier academic certification for cybersecurity education—by the National Security Agency and the U.S. 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 a co-leader of a new Center of Excellence for Explosives Detection, Mitigation, and Response.