Former Republican Pennsylvania Gov. Mark Schweiker has been appointed “executive in residence” in the political science department at Rider University, where he will teach courses in homeland security, school officials announced today. Rider offers a master’s degree in homeland security.
Schweiker served as lieutenant governor of Pennsylvania, where he oversaw the commonwealth’s emergency response platform. He became governor of Pennsylvania in 2001, when his predecessor, Tom Ridge, resigned to become the homeland security advisor to President George W. Bush after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.
Pennsylvania created a state office of homeland security during Schweiker’s tenure, and his administration also increased the security of state government facilities, government electronic information systems, public venues, airports and nuclear power plants. He is best known for leading a successful rescue of nine miners trapped in Quecreek in Somerset County, where he was on site to oversee all emergency operations
“Rider understands the important dimensions of graduating qualified and spirited people who want to protect our nation,” Schweiker said in a written statement about his new appointment. “The strength of Rider’s homeland security program is unmatched, which is important because there are critical homelands assets near the university. Rider has a significant role to play in helping keep America and our region safe, and I’m motivated to apply my experience to help refine and elevate the program.”
Schweiker earned his master’s degree in management from Rider in 1983, and was awarded an honorary degree from Rider in 2004. He currently serves as the senior vice president and corporate development officer of Renmatix, a Pa.-based technology licensing company for the conversion of biomass into cellulosic sugars.
“As our homeland security program continues to grow, we are privileged that Gov. Schweiker has agreed to dedicate his time and energy and share his experience, knowledge and expertise with our students,” said Rider University Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs DonnaJean Fredeen in a written statement. “His wide network throughout the world and industry will also surely benefit them and the entire Rider community.”