Lawrence Joseph (Larry) DeNardis (born March 18, 1938) is a former U.S. Congressman and university president.
DeNardis was born in New Haven, Connecticut, on March 18, 1938; graduated from Hamden High School, Hamden, Connecticut, in 1956 and received a B.A. from Holy Cross College in 1960, an M.A. and a Ph.D. from New York University, in 1964 and 1989, respectively.
He served in the United States Naval Reserve, 1960–1963 and was associate professor at Albertus Magnus College. He was President of the Connecticut Conference of Independent Colleges in 1979-1980 after serving in the Connecticut State Senate from 1970 to 1979.
DeNardis was elected in the 1980 Ronald Reagan landslide as a Republican to the Ninety-seventh United States Congress (January 3, 1981 – January 3, 1983), defeating then-State Senator Joe Lieberman to win a seat that had been held for 22 years by Democrat Robert Giaimo.
During his term in Congress DeNardis was known as a moderate "Gypsy Moth" Republican. He was narrowly upset in a 1982 mid-term election characterized by voter anger over a poor economy and the strong grassroots campaign by Democrat Bruce Morrison, a Bill Clinton classmate at Yale Law School. Morrison also won a rematch against DeNardis in 1984, with Reagan again at the top of the ticket.
After losing the 1984 election, DeNardis was given a political appointment in the Reagan Administration, serving as assistant secretary in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services from 1985 to 1987.
He joined the University of New Haven as President, serving in that position from 1991 to 2004 before becoming President Emeritus. He led a great expansion of programs and facilities during his tenure as the University's President, including substantial international programs, and has participated in international election monitoring missions. Since retiring as university president, he has continued to serve as a member of the faculty, teaching national security policy. He also is chairman of the Institute for New Democracies, a nongovernmental organization that advises evolving democracies. He has been an independent election observer in central Asian countries, and in December 2009 was an advisor to the Democratic League of Kosovo (LDK) as it participated in local elections in Kosovo.
|U.S. House of Representatives|
|Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Connecticut's 3rd congressional district