A vital supporter of higher education in his home state, Reed has helped secure millions of dollars in funding for CCRI over the years through the Rhode Island Educational Opportunity Center and the Rhode Island Educational Talent Search. He also has hosted a field hearing of the Senate Health Committee to address the healthcare worker shortage in Rhode Island and the nation.
Throughout his career in the United States Congress, Reed has been an advocate for working-class families. A leader on defense, education, and health care issues, he is a senior member of the Armed Services Committee and a former Army Ranger.
In 1996, Reed was elected to succeed Claiborne Pell (D-RI) as Rhode Island’s 46th United States Senator. Prior to serving in the Senate, he was a three-term member of the U.S. House of Representatives from Rhode Island’s 2nd Congressional District. During his tenure he championed child health care, public libraries, and campaign finance reform. He also helped strengthen national defense and found innovative ways to promote Rhode Island's economy.
As a member of the powerful Appropriations Committee, which controls the purse strings of Congress, Reed works to secure federal funding for the Ocean State, such as mass transit funding and community development projects. In an effort to reduce crime at home, he helped pass legislation to put more police officers on the streets and enact common sense gun safety laws. To ensure that America stays strong abroad, he has sought to increase the size of our armed forces.
As a senior member of the Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee, Reed’s key economic priorities include promoting responsible budgets, bringing business to Rhode Island, and strengthening the national economy.
Reed was born and raised in Cranston. He excelled at LaSalle Academy, which earned him an appointment to the United States Military Academy at West Point where he received a Bachelor of Science degree in 1971.
After graduating from West Point and receiving an active duty commission in the United States Army, Reed attended the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University where he received a master’s degree in Public Policy. An Army Ranger and a paratrooper, served in the 82nd Airborne Division as an Infantry Platoon leader, a Company Commander, and a Battalion Staff Officer. He returned to West Point in 1978 as an associate professor in the Department of Social Sciences.