Appointed by President Ronald Reagan, Ronald L. Trowbridge was director of Educational and Cultural Affairs at the United States Information Agency, directing the Fulbright Program. His position required U. S. Senate confirmation. Later he became chief of staff for U. S. Supreme Court Chief Justice Warren Burger, publishing a book on the Chief Justice.
Trowbridge holds a Ph.D. in English from the University of Michigan, where he taught for several years. He became a tenured full professor at Eastern Michigan University and later a Vice President at Hillsdale College. He was editor of the Michigan Academician, the journal of the Michigan Academy of Science, Arts, and Letters.
Trowbridge founded the Maine Heritage Policy Center, which among other pursuits focused on higher education. From 2006-12, he was an adjunct professor of English at Lone Star College. In May 2013, he was elected to the Board of Trustees at the Lone Star College System. He is presently Visiting Scholar at the Nexus Research and Policy Center, and Senior Fellow at the Center for College Affordability and Productivity.