Robert K. Durkee became Vice President and Secretary of the University on January 1, 2004. In this capacity he serves as senior adviser to the president, provides administrative support for the Board of Trustees and oversees the official convocations of the University such as Commencement.
From the time of his appointment until February 1, 2018, he also continued to serve as Vice President for Public Affairs, a position he had held since July 1, 1978. In that capacity he oversaw the offices of the Alumni Association, Communications, Community and Regional Affairs, Government Affairs, and Public Affairs.
Mr. Durkee joined the administration in April of 1972 as assistant to the president; he spent the academic year 1977-78 on leave to serve as executive assistant to the president of the Washington, D.C.-based Association of American Universities.
In addition to his work at Princeton, Mr. Durkee’s board memberships have included the Washington, D.C.-based Fair Labor Association (which he has served as acting chair), McCarter Theatre, the Princeton Alumni Weekly, the Princeton Prize in Race Relations, the National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities, the Council for Advancement and Support of Education, the Association of Independent Colleges and Universities of New Jersey, and the Consortium on Financing Higher Education. He was the founding chair of Princeton University’s Martin Luther King Day committee, and of the Public Affairs Committee of the Association of American Universities.
Mr. Durkee received his A.B. degree magna cum laude from Princeton in 1969, where he majored in public and international affairs, served as editor-in-chief of the daily student newspaper (the Daily Princetonian), and wrote the on-the-campus column for the Alumni Weekly. He taught fifth and sixth grades in the Trenton (N.J.) public schools from 1969 through 1972 and earned a master of arts in teaching degree from Montclair State University in 1971.