Former congresswoman Liz Cheney (Wyo.), who waged a losing battle to steer fellow Republicans away from former president Donald Trump after his supporters attacked the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, accepted a teaching position at the University of Virginia, the school announced Wednesday.
“Preserving our constitutional republic is the most important work of our time, and our nation’s young people will play a crucial role in this effort,” she said in the statement. She said she hopes the work will help find “lasting solutions that not only preserve, but strengthen our democracy.”
Cheney served in Congress as Wyoming’s sole representative from 2017 to 2023, and was the No. 3 Republican in the House from 2019 to May 2021, before being replaced by Rep. Elise Stefanik (N.Y.).
Cheney defied Republican congressional leaders in 2021 and served on the House select committee tasked with investigating the attack on the Capitol, which resulted in five deaths and injuries to 140 law enforcement officers. The following year, Cheney, a social conservative and daughter of former Republican vice president Dick Cheney, lost her reelection primary to Harriet M. Hageman.
Cheney has spent recent years warning her party, and the public, about the dangers she says Trump poses to the nation. “I have said since January 6 that I will do whatever it takes to ensure Donald Trump is never again anywhere near the Oval Office,” she told a crowd in Wyoming last year. “And I mean this.”
She also criticized leading figures in the Republican Party, including Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin and 2024 presidential candidate Nikki Haley, who distanced themselves from Trump’s claims about the 2020 election but campaigned for candidates who promoted it.
“I think they are really indefensible decisions,” Cheney said last year on NBC’s “Meet the Press.” She praised Youngkin for his work in Virginia but added, “nobody should be out advocating for the election of people who will not honor the sanctity of our elections process.”
Whitt Clement, rector of the university’s Board of Visitors, said in the statement that Cheney is “a strong conservative who never hesitates to put honesty ahead of all other considerations” and “is a model of leadership not just for the students at the University of Virginia, but for all people concerned for the well-being of this country.”
At the university, Cheney will participate in lectures, serve as a guest lecturer in student seminars, contribute to research at the university’s Center for Politics “and participate in other University and community events,” according to the statement.