Two University leaders to take on new roles

Two University leaders have been appointed to new senior roles.

Vice President and Secretary of the University David Fithian will become Executive Vice President of the University on March 31. He succeeds David Greene, who has been appointed president of Colby College in Waterville, Maine.

Darren Reisberg, the first Executive Director of the Institute of Politics, will become Secretary of the University on March 31.

President Robert J. Zimmer said the appointments ensure a smooth transition and continued strong leadership at the highest levels of University administration.

“David Fithian has been an invaluable member of the University’s leadership team. His integrity and high standards have shaped many of our important initiatives and functions. Those qualities, together with his deep knowledge of the University, will be key to maintaining the momentum the University has established in recent years,” Zimmer said.

“In a very short period of time, Darren has proven to be an outstanding leader, with a keen understanding of the University’s values and aspirations, and the ability to put that into action,” Zimmer continued.

As Executive Vice President, Fithian will serve as the senior administrative representative of the President. He will be responsible for convening and coordinating strategic initiatives, especially those spanning different units or parts of the University.

The Executive Vice President’s other responsibilities include campus master planning; institutional research and analysis; coordination of support for the Marine Biological Laboratory; and management of the President’s Office and its staff and budget. Fithian will continue to lead the Office of University Events and Ceremonies, which includes responsibility for Convocations and major events such as the University’s upcoming 125th anniversary in 2015.

“As Vice President and Secretary, I have been able to work with outstanding people across the institution who are devoted to advancing the University’s eminence,” Fithian said. “I am grateful for this new opportunity to help bring those leaders and innovators together in service of our most important goals.”

Fithian joined the University in 2007 as Secretary, adding the role of Vice President to his portfolio in 2009. In addition to coordinating the work of the Trustees, he led a significant reorganization of Convocation ceremonies, as well as the opening of the Center in Beijing and other major University events. He also serves as President of the Board of Directors of the Quadrangle Club, a director of Chapin Hall, and Secretary of the Corporation of the Marine Biological Laboratory.

From 1995-2007, Fithian held a number of positions at Harvard University, ultimately serving as Associate Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences and Secretary of the Faculty. He received a BA from Clark University and an MA, MPhil and PhD from Yale University.

As Secretary, Reisberg will work closely with Zimmer to manage all activities related to the Board of Trustees, providing direct staff support and counsel to the President and to the Trustees, while facilitating governance practices across the University. He will help guide the work of the Secretary of the Medical Center Board of Trustees and the Secretary of the Faculties, and provide central leadership for the University’s Visiting Committee program.

“I will be forever grateful to David Axelrod for bringing me to the University of Chicago and giving me the opportunity to join in the launch of the Institute of Politics, which has provided an invigorating introduction to what makes this institution distinctive. And I am deeply grateful to President Zimmer for the confidence he is now placing in me,” said Reisberg. “I look forward to supporting the further execution of the ambitious and compelling path forged by the President, Trustees and University leaders.”

At the Institute of Politics, Reisberg worked with Institute Director Axelrod to create a vibrant set of programs designed to ignite in students a passion for politics and public service. These have included events with prominent politicians and policy makers such as Vice President Joe Biden; U.S. Sens. John McCain, Claire McKaskill and Tim Kaine; Govs. Haley Barbour, Jerry Brown, Jeb Bush, and Pat Quinn; authors Doris Kearns Goodwin and George Packer; Mayor Rahm Emanuel; and Nobel Peace Prize winner Elie Wiesel. Many of those events, including the recent speech by Gov. Deval Patrick in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., were undertaken in partnership with other units of the University. The Institute also has launched successful programs of Resident and Visiting Fellows, as well as 200 paid summer and academic-year opportunities for students in just its first year.

Reisberg came to the University from the Illinois State Board of Education, where he worked from 2005-2012, most recently as General Counsel and Deputy Superintendent. Before that, he worked as an employment and labor attorney at Sidley Austin LLP in Chicago, and as a judicial law clerk for U.S. District Court Judge Rebecca R. Pallmeyer, JD’79. Reisberg also serves on the boards of the Center on Halsted and Namaste Charter School. He earned his BA from Duke University and his JD from Yale Law School.