After growing up in Hackensack, New Jersey, Ronald Langston earned degrees from the University of Iowa, the City University of New York (National Urban/Rural Fellow) and Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government.
His private sector career included positions as Vice President of Administration and Organizational Management for EMCO Enterprises, Director of National Markets for Principal Financial Group, Vice President of Governmental Affairs for the Greater Des Moines Chamber of Commerce Federation, and Director of Economic Development for the Institute for Social and Economic Development.
Langston worked as Legislative Research Analyst to the Iowa General Assembly from 1974-1979, and as a Legislative Assistant to former U.S. Senator Roger Jepsen (R-Iowa) from 1979 to 1981. Thereafter, he was a presidential appointee during the Reagan Administration (1982-1984) with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) in Washington, D.C. He was the first African-American to win the Republican nomination for the Iowa Senate, although he was defeated in the final election.
Langston also volunteered on a Bush for President National Campaign Staff in 1980, and in 1988 was appointed to the Personnel Advisory Committee of President-elect George H.W. Bush.