Delegates to the New England Board of Higher Education (NEBHE) selected Rhode Island state Representative Joseph M. McNamara as board chair at their annual spring meeting in March held at Lasell College, Newton, Mass. The appointment is for a two-year term. NEBHE's board of delegates comprises distinguished leaders in higher education, education, state government and business from the six New England states.
"Representative McNamara has been an invaluable member of our board, and we are pleased he is assuming this leadership role over the next couple of years," Michael K. Thomas, NEBHE president and CEO said in a statement.
McNamara chairs the Rhode Island House Health, Education and Welfare Committee. He is also a member of the House Committee on Labor and the House Committee on Rules.
"NEBHE through its work in interstate collaboration brings many benefits to Rhode Island, and the other five New England states," said McNamara. "Its Tuition Break program, for example, saves Rhode Island students and families millions of dollars on their out-of-state tuition bills while providing them access to specialized degree programs that are not offered by Rhode Island's public higher education institutions."
A Democrat, he represents Rhode Island District 19 in Warwick and Cranston and was first elected to the Rhode Island Legislature in November 1994.
McNamara is a long-serving NEBHE delegate, who was appointed to the board in 2006. He has been a member of the NEBHE Executive Committee and Legislative Advisory Committee (LAC), and served as the LAC chair from 2014 to 2018. A retired educator, McNamara was the director of the Pawtucket School Department's Alternative Learning Program among other positions.