Joseph Duffey

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Joseph Duffey
Assistant Secretary of State for Educational and Cultural Affairs
In office
Chairman of the National Endowment for the Humanities
In office
Chancellor of the University of Massachusetts Amherst
In office
President of the University of Massachusetts
In office
President of American University
In office
Personal details
Joseph Daniel Duffey

(1932-07-01) July 1, 1932 (age 87)
Huntington, West Virginia
Spouse(s)Anne Wexler (1974-2009, her death)
Alma materMarshall University (B.A.)
Andover Theological School(B.D.)
Yale University (S.T.M.)
Hartford Seminary (Ph.D.)

Joseph Daniel Duffey (born July 1, 1932) is an American academic, educator and political appointee.

Early life and career[edit]

Duffey was born in Huntington, West Virginia. He received an A.B. from Marshall University in 1954, a B.D. from Andover Theological School in 1957, an S.T.M. from Yale University in 1963, and a Ph.D. from Hartford Seminary Foundation in 1969. From 1960 to 1970, Duffey was an assistant professor and then acting dean and associate professor, at Hartford Seminary. He was also founder and director of the Center for Urban Studies there.

1970 election[edit]

Duffey ran for the U.S. Senate in 1970 as a prominent anti-Vietnam War candidate; he had just turned 35 years old. The campaign became notable because several of Duffey's young supporters went on to prominent careers in Democratic politics, including future president Bill Clinton, a Yale Law School student at the time.[1]

The incumbent in that race, Thomas J. Dodd, was the father of former Connecticut Senator Christopher Dodd. Dodd, who had been censured by the Senate for corruption, was not re-nominated by the Democratic Party. Instead, Duffey joined Stamford businessman Alphonse Donahue and State Senate President Edward Marcus in a race to win the party endorsement. Donahue won the Democratic convention, but Duffey went on to win the primary. He finished second in a three-way general election race to Lowell Weicker, with Senator Dodd running as an independent.

Anne Wexler ran his 1970 campaign, and the two married in September 1974 after they had both divorced their respective spouses.[2]

Later career[edit]

In 1971 he was a fellow at Harvard's John F. Kennedy School of Government. Duffey was an adjunct professor at Yale University and a fellow at Calhoon College from 1971 to 1973. From 1974 to 1976, he was chief administrative officer and spokesman for the American Association of University Professors. He worked on the Carter-Mondale transition team in 1976 and 1977 and has been Assistant Secretary of State for Educational and Cultural Affairs since early 1977.

Dr. Duffey was the former chairman of the National Endowment for the Humanities (1977–1982), and former assistant Secretary of State for education and cultural affairs. In 1993 he was appointed as Director of the U.S. Information Agency and held the position until June 30, 1999, shortly before USIA was incorporated into the State Department on October 1, 1999.[3]

He was president of American University (1991–1993) and chancellor of the University of Massachusetts Amherst (1982–1991). In 1990, the position of President of the entire University of Massachusetts system was added to his responsibilities.[4]

In 1978 and 1980, Duffey was a delegate to the General Conference of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) meetings in Paris and Belgrade. In 1991, he was joint head of the U.S. Delegation observing national elections in Ethiopia.

Dr. Duffey has written extensively on issues relating to higher education and social and economic policy. He holds 14 honorary degrees from American colleges and universities and in 1993 was awarded the honorary Doctor of Letter by Ritsumeikan University in Japan. In 1980, he was named Commander of the Order of the Crown by the King of Belgium. He has been a member of the Council on Foreign Relations since 1979.

Dr. Duffey joined Laureate Education, Inc. as Senior Vice President in 1999 and is responsible for education and academic quality and coordinates the development of Laureate International Universities network programs and partnerships worldwide.[5]


His second wife, Anne Wexler (1930–2009), was a lobbyist.They each had two sons from previous marriages. She died of cancer on August 7, 2009 at age 79.[2]

Selected works[edit]


External links[edit]

Party political offices
Preceded by
Thomas J. Dodd
Democratic Party nominee for United States Senator from Connecticut
(Class 1)

Succeeded by
Gloria Schaffer
Government offices
Preceded by
John Richardson, Jr.
Assistant Secretary of State for Educational and Cultural Affairs
April 8, 1977 – March 21, 1978
Succeeded by
Alice Stone Ilchman
Preceded by
Ronald Berman
Chairperson of the National Endowment for the Humanities
Succeeded by
William Bennett
Academic offices
Preceded by
Richard E. Berendzen
President, American University
Succeeded by
Benjamin Ladner