Regent University News – Former Virginia Governor Joins Regent University as Distinguished Professor
Former Virginia Governor and Regent University alumnus Robert “Bob” F. McDonnell will join Regent as a Distinguished Professor in January 2017, the university announced today.
McDonnell, who served as the 71st governor of the Commonwealth of Virginia from 2010-2014, will teach in the Robertson School of Government and will help establish a Governor’s Center for Federalism and Civility, an initiative that will assist the states in understanding their role in a federal society.
“We are delighted to welcome Governor McDonnell back to Regent University,” said Regent Chancellor and Founder, Dr. M.G. “Pat” Robertson. “As we train students to serve in government, law and other disciplines, McDonnell will bring his extensive public service experience as an Army officer, prosecutor, state legislator, attorney general and governor.”
Moving into academia is a natural next step for the former governor, a champion of high quality education.
“Teaching is something that I’ve often considered throughout my years of public service. During my painful journey through the justice system after I left the Governor’s office, I came to the realization that politics and polls are much less important than people and policies,” McDonnell explained. “I‘m eager to engage with Regent students and faculty in and out of the classroom, and I hope that my experiences can inspire others to consider careers in public service.”
McDonnell’s experience will translate well into the classroom, said Dr. Gerson Moreno-Riaño, Regent’s Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs. “The Governor’s bias toward service will extend to our students, as he serves them with excellence through teaching and sharing. We anticipate robust discussions around issues of leadership, governance and policy,” Moreno-Riaño said.
After his term as governor ended, McDonnell has worked as a business consultant for such local companies as Bay Mechanical and The ESG Companies in Virginia Beach. Last year, he and his sister formed The McDonnell Group, which provides business and consulting services such as business development, investor recruitment, fundraising and strategic planning. He also has volunteered with the humanitarian organization, Operation Blessing, and serves on the local boards of the Hampton Roads Chamber of Commerce and Samaritan House.
McDonnell was the first – and to date, only – Regent graduate to be elected governor of a state, defeating his opponent by a 17-point margin in November 2009. He was inaugurated in January 2010. McDonnell earned a law degree and a master’s degree in public policy from Regent in 1989, and served on the Regent Board of Trustees from 1997-2005.
McDonnell was raised in northern Virginia. He attended the University of Notre Dame on an Army ROTC scholarship and served on active duty and in the Reserves, retiring in 1997 as a Lieutenant Colonel. He also has an MSBA from Boston University.
Besides two decades as an Army officer, McDonnell’s professional experience also includes four years as a manager with American Hospital Supply Corp., two years prosecuting crime in the Virginia Beach Commonwealth’s Attorney’s office, and 14 years as an attorney with the Virginia Beach law firm of Huff, Poole and Mahoney.
McDonnell began his political career in 1991 in the Virginia House of Delegates, where he served for 14 years, representing the 84th District in Virginia Beach. He was elected attorney general in 2005, serving in that role until his election as governor in 2009. He has been elected chairman to both the Republican Attorneys General Association and the Republican Governors Association.