NEWPORT, R.I. – J. David Smith, the director of Rhode Island’s Emergency Management Agency (RIEMA) since 2008, has been named graduate program director and lecturer in Salve Regina’s administration of justice department. Smith will assume his new position at the university on Aug. 1.
A 28-year police department veteran, Smith is the former police chief in the towns of Narragansett and Westerly. He has also served as director of Public Safety and Transportation for Roger Williams University.
A Salve Regina alumnus, Smith earned his bachelor's and master's degrees in administration of justice, as well as a certificate of advanced graduate studies degree from the university. He is currently a candidate in Salve Regina’s Ph.D. program in Humanities.
“The quality of education at Salve Regina University has been the draw for prospective law enforcement officers and top administrators for decades," Smith said. "Much of my success is directly attributed to the instruction that I received at Salve."
During his tenure at RIEMA, Smith was widely credited with the state’s positive handling of the historic floods in 2010, and with promoting measures such as the 800 MHz system to enhance communication and collaboration amongst emergency personnel and responders.
“In his three years at RIEMA, Executive Director Smith has made tremendous strides in making that organization not only ready for any possible scenario, but proactive in terms of emergency preparedness,” said Gov. Lincoln Chafee. “He has demonstrated significant leadership and managerial ability in a difficult, demanding position. All Rhode Islanders owe him gratitude for his service.”
Smith said he is thrilled to work in a classroom environment, where, “I will have the opportunity to use my homeland security and emergency management perspective to encourage students to pursue careers in law enforcement and public safety, to serve their state and their country.”
He said he looks forward to contributing to Salve Regina’s academic program “by following in the footsteps of Dr. Richard Marquise and others who shaped what I consider to be the finest administration of justice program in the region.” Marquise was chairman of the graduate administration of justice program and taught at Salve Regina for 20 years before retiring in 1996
“Most recently, I had the privilege of working with the outgoing director, Dan Knight,” Smith said. “He has established some innovative programs that will be exciting to continue in the years ahead.”
For more than 40 years, Salve Regina’s ADJ department has been preparing students for meaningful and fulfilling careers in the justice system. Its reputation for success is exemplified by 2,500 graduates who are currently serving as judges, lawyers, police officers, special agents, attorneys and child protective workers across the country.