Maxine Griffith is the Executive Vice President for Government and Community Affairs at Columbia University and Special Advisor for Campus Planning.
Reporting to Columbia’s president, Lee C. Bollinger, Ms. Griffith is responsible for the oversight and coordination of Columbia's collaborations with government at the local, state, and federal levels, as well as the strengthening of Columbia's many partnerships with local organizations. In addition, she is a senior member of the team planning for the University’s proposed campus expansion.
Griffith brings more than 20 years of experience and a strong background in both urban planning and government affairs. From 2000 to 2005, Griffith served as executive director of the Philadelphia City Planning Commission and as the Secretary (Deputy Mayor) for Strategic Planning. Previously, Griffith served in the Clinton administration at the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), first as the Regional Representative for New York and New Jersey and then in Washington as HUD's assistant deputy secretary. From 1988 to 1996 she was principal of Griffith Planning and Design, a firm providing planning, urban design, and development services to a diverse list of clients.
She has also served on the New York City Planning Commission, on the New York State Commission on the Restoration of the Capital, the national Planning Accreditation Board, and the Board of Directors of the American Planning Association. She now serves on the boards of directors of the Architectural League of New York, the Regional Plan Association, and Seeds, an organization building schools and libraries in West Africa.
Griffith was born in Harlem, 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 University, New York University, and the University of Pennsylvania and is an accredited member of the American Institute of Certified Planners.