Columbia University has announced that Maxine Griffith has accepted the post of Vice President for Government and Community Affairs, effective July 11.
Griffith will be responsible for the oversight and coordination of Columbia's collaborations with government officials at the local, state and federal levels, as well as the strengthening of Columbia's many partnerships with local organizations and government and community leaders. She will be reporting to the Office of the Executive Vice President for Communications and External Affairs.
"Maxine Griffith joins our dedicated team of government and community affairs managers and will play an integral leadership role in our ongoing efforts to advance the University's mission in close partnership with local, state, and federal government and our neighbors throughout the city," said President Lee C. Bollinger.
Griffith brings to the newly created position more than 20 years of New York experience and a strong background in government affairs. While Griffith was a senior fellow for community planning and development at the Regional Plan Association in New York, she worked extensively in Harlem on a variety of issues, including development projects.
"I am excited to have the opportunity to return home to New York and join one of the city's most esteemed institutions, as well as one of the world's leading research universities," said Griffith. "I look forward to working closely with our partners in government and the community to advance Columbia's mission and achieve important shared goals."
Most recently Griffith served as the executive director of the Philadelphia City Planning Commission and the secretary for strategic planning. Prior to her cabinet-level appointment in Philadelphia, Griffith served in the Clinton administration at the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), first as the secretary's regional representative for New York and New Jersey and then in Washington as HUD's assistant deputy secretary.
Griffith graduated cum laude from Hunter College in New York and holds a master's degree in architecture from the University of California, Berkeley. She has taught city planning and urban design at Columbia, New York University and the University of Pennsylvania.