August 7, 2015 –Chris Murphy, a 1998 Georgetown Law graduate with more than 25 years of experience in the nonprofit, local and federal government sectors, has been named Georgetown’s first vice president for government relations and community engagement.
Murphy, who previously served as chief of staff to Washington, D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray from 2011-2015, will begin his tenure at Georgetown on Monday.
In his new position, Murphy will coordinate the university’s engagement with community groups in the Washington, D.C. region as well as with the federal government, the District of Columbia and other area governments.
“Georgetown is a very important member of and contributor to the Washington, D.C., community and plays a critical role in so many national conversations,” Murphy says. “I am eager to expand on those relationships so that Georgetown can play an even more influential and helpful role.”
Before serving as Gray’s chief of staff, the former editor of The Georgetown Law Journal was deputy chief of staff for U.S. Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Shaun Donovan (2010-2011). He served as general counsel and executive director of human resources for Atlantic Media Company from 2008 to 2010.
Murphy is also the founder of City Year Washington, DC, an education-focused AmeriCorps national service program for which he served as executive director between 2000 and 2008. A 1990 graduate of Harvard University, he earlier served in the Boston chapter of the organization.
“Founding City Year Washington, DC is one of my proudest accomplishments,” Murphy says. “I am enormously proud of the difference City Year AmeriCorps members have made in the lives of children in Washington, D.C. – and equally proud that many of our alumni have gone on to make careers in public service.”
Georgetown President John J. DeGioia says Murphy will help strengthen the university’s relationships with governmental and community leaders throughout the Washington area and actively support policies and partnerships that advance the university’s mission and vision.
“Chris is an accomplished leader with extensive leadership experience,” DeGioia says. “In this role, he will bring unparalleled perspective to Georgetown as we seek to strengthen our engagements with governmental and community leaders at both the local and national levels here in Washington.”
The largest private employer in Washington, Georgetown works with community partners to respond to the pressing social issues that affect some of the city's most underserved areas.
Working with government and civic leaders, the oldest Catholic and Jesuit university addresses such major regional issues as transportation, urban planning, climate change and public education.
Georgetown's role as an anchor institution in the Washington area is detailed in a 2014 report by the university’s Office of Community Engagement, which Murphy will oversee. He also will have oversight of the Office of Federal Relations, the primary liaison to the federal government that advocates on behalf of the university on higher education issues affecting students, faculty, and staff.
“The university has contributed to the well-being of the Washington, D.C. community for many years, and is an increasingly important source of national influence,” Murphy says. “I look forward to building on these strong relationships, continuing to listen, and ensuring that Georgetown voices are heard in policy debates both locally and nationally.”
He says he found his own experience at Georgetown inspiring.
“Attending Georgetown Law was an incredibly formative experience for me,” Murphy says. “Not only did it teach me to think critically and strategically, it also reinforced my belief that these skills should be used – as President DeGioia often says – to advance the common good.”
Murphy and his wife, Laurie Kohn (L’96, LLM’00), a George Washington University law professor, live in Washington, D.C., with their sons, Aidan and Caleb, whom he says are “proud alumni of the Georgetown Law Early Learning Center.”