Former Pennsylvania Gov. Mark Schweiker joins Rider as executive in residence
Former Pennsylvania Gov. Mark Schweiker has been appointed executive in residence to Rider University’s Department of Political Science. Schweiker will share his considerable emergency management, crisis response and counter-terrorism experience to support the University’s homeland security program.
Pennsylvania’s 44th governor, Schweiker was the only U.S. governor to assume his position as a result of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. During his tenure as governor, he ramped up Pennsylvania’s safety and security. In his first official act as governor, Schweiker hired an additional 100 state troopers. At his direction, Pennsylvania then created the Office of Homeland Security. His administration also increased the security of state government facilities and its internet network, public venues, airports and nuclear power plants. He gained worldwide recognition in 2002 for leading a successful rescue of nine miners trapped in Quecreek, Somerset County. Schweiker was on site to oversee all emergency operations and handle communications with an international press corps.
"Rider understands the important dimensions of graduating qualified and spirited people who want to protect our nation," Schweiker says. "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."
Rider’s 36-credit Master of Arts in Homeland Security prepares professionals for leadership roles in protecting the U.S., its interests and its allies from terrorist attacks, as well as responding to natural disasters and other threats to the safety and welfare of communities, the state and the nation.
“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,” says Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs DonnaJean A. Fredeen. “His wide network throughout the world and industry will also surely benefit them and the entire Rider community.”
Schweiker, who earned his master's in management from Rider in1983 and was awarded an honorary Doctor of Laws from Rider in 2004, also served as lieutenant governor of Pennsylvania where he oversaw the commonwealth’s emergency response platform.
“We look forward to a long and successful relationship with Gov. Schweiker,” says Fredeen. “The world saw his deft crisis communications and emergency management skills during the Quecreek Mine rescue. Having someone with his unique and decisive governing experience will be a critical asset in preparing the next generation of homeland security professionals.”
Schweiker currently serves as the senior vice president and corporate development officer of Renmatix, Inc., a sustainable alternatives company making clean bioproducts for food ingredients, personal care and other select industrial applications.