Political Science

Richard Arenberg

Visiting Professor of the Practice of Political Science, Senior Fellow in International and Public Affairs
Rm 325/Watson Institute of International and Public Affairs - 111 Thayer Street
Office Hours By appointment


Richard A. Arenberg retired after more than thirty-four years on Capitol Hill in senior staff positions with Majority Leader Senator George Mitchell (Maine) and Senators Carl Levin (Michigan) and Paul Tsongas (Massachusetts). He served on the Senate Iran-contra Committee in 1987 and helped Senators Mitchell and William Cohen write Men of Zeal analyzing those hearings. He was a principle negotiator of the Alaska Lands Act, which President Carter called “the most important piece of conservation legislation passed in the 20th Century.” 

Arenberg authored Congressional Procedure: A Practical Guide to the Legislative Process in the U.S. Congress (2018, TheCapitol.Net).The book was awarded five national awards including the Ben Franklin Book Award Gold Medal. He co-authored Defending the Filibuster: Soul of the Senate (2012, Indiana U. Press).  The authors were awarded a Congressional research award by the Dirksen Congressional Center in 2010.  Defending the Filibuster was named “Book of the Year in Political Science” by Forewords Reviews in 2012. Defending the Filibuster, Revised and Updated Edition was published in 2014. Richard A. Arenberg: Oral History Interviews was published by the Senate Historical Office in 2011 and can be read or heard on the U.S. Senate website.

Arenberg served as the Interim Director of the Taubman Center for American Politics and Policy at Brown University from July 2020 to July 2021.

Arenberg has significant experience in intelligence matters, Congressional history, procedure, rules and protocol, and the role and impact of Congress on public policy. Arenberg teaches a number of courses related to Congressional politics and policy, the presidency, political communication and campaigns and elections in Brown’s public policy program and the political science department.

Arenberg has previously taught at Northeastern and Suffolk Universities. He serves on the Board of Directors of Social Security Works and the Board of Directors of Social Security Works Education Fund, and a Senior Congressional Fellow at the Stennis Center for Public Service Leadership.  He is an affiliate at the Taubman Center for American Politics & Policy.  His work has appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, The Providence Journal, Politico, and The Boston Globe. He is a Contributor at Newsmax and The Hill.