RI Rep. Joseph McNamara Named NEBHE Chair, Mass. Rep. Patricia Haddad Named NEBHE Vice Chair

By Wendy Lindsay

Comings and Goings …

Delegates to the New England Board of Higher Education (NEBHE) selected Rhode Island state Representative Joseph M. McNamara as board chair and Massachusetts Rep. Patricia Haddad as board vice chair at their annual spring meeting in March held at Lasell College, Newton, Mass. The appointments are 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.

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. A Democrat, he represents Rhode Island District 19 in Warwick and Cranston and was first elected to the Rhode Island Legislature in November 1994.

Haddad is the speaker pro tempore of the Massachusetts House of Representatives. She was previously house chair of the Joint Committee on Education (2004-2008) and house assistant majority whip (2008-2010). A Democrat, she represents the Massachusetts Fifth Bristol House District on the south coast and was first elected to the Massachusetts legislature in 2001.

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.

Haddad was appointed to the board in January 2018. She is a member of the NEBHE Executive Committee and Legislative Advisory Committee.

“Representatives McNamara and Haddad are invaluable members of our board, and we are pleased they are assuming leadership roles over the next couple of years,” said Michael K. Thomas, NEBHE president and CEO.

“NEBHE through its work in interstate collaboration brings many benefits to Rhode Island, and the other five New England states,” commented 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.”

“I am honored that the NEBHE board of delegates elected me as vice chair,” commented Haddad. “NEBHE’s work in regional collaboration is of great value to the six New England states. NEBHE is recognized for its Tuition Break program, which saves Massachusetts students and families about $20 million annually on their out-of-state tuition bills. In addition, its policy and research work helps the New England states collectively address key areas of concern in higher education.”

McNamara and Haddad are retired educators. McNamara was the director of the Pawtucket School Department’s Alternative Learning Program among other positions. Haddad was a middle school health and fitness teacher.


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