Lincoln D. Chafee

On November 2nd, 2010, with the help of a diverse community of supporters, Lincoln Chafee was elected the 74th Governor of Rhode Island. He faced the state’s worst financial crisis in decades, forcing him to make tough choices that few have had to confront. Because of Governor Chafee’s principled leadership and his investments in education and workforce revitalization, Rhode Island is on the path to recovery. Consistent with the values of Rhode Island’s civil society, Governor Chafee has signed marriage equality into law, spearheaded health care reform and launched green infrastructure initiatives – critical ingredients of his long-term vision for a thriving Rhode Island. 

This year, Governor Chafee became a Democrat, after concluding that his longtime commitment to the hard-working people of Rhode Island was most aligned with that of President Obama and Democratic Governors across the country. As a United States Senator, Governor Chafee fought passionately for a middle-class economic agenda and environmental causes, such as protecting our air and water and addressing climate change pollutants. An advocate of responsible global leadership, he also had the foresight to vote against the war in Iraq. Following his tenure in the U.S. Senate, Governor Chafee spent two years as a Distinguished Visiting Fellow at Brown University's Watson Institute for International Studies, where he wrote Against the Tide: How a Compliant Congress Empowered a Reckless President. In his memoir, Governor Chafee described his opposition to Bush-era tax cuts for the wealthy and gave voice to a progressive vision for the future of the nation.    

Governor Chafee is a proud Rhode Islander, born and bred in Warwick. He graduated with a degree in Classics from Brown University, where he received the Francis M. Driscoll Award for leadership, scholarship and athletics. After graduating, he worked for seven years as a blacksmith at harness racetracks throughout the United States and Canada. Inspired by a commitment to public service and the path of his father John Chafee, Governor Chafee entered politics as an elected delegate to the Rhode Island Constitutional Convention, and subsequently served four years on the Warwick City Council, was elected to four terms as Mayor of Warwick and served seven years as a U.S. Senator.

Source: University Programs and Events Planning Resources, October 2014