Announcement Regarding Jerome Davis, Secretary of the University

December 04, 2023

Dear fellow members of the Columbia community:

Jerome Davis

I write to share that Jerome Davis, Secretary of the University, has informed me of his plans to retire at the end of this academic year. Since 2007, Jerome has played a leading role in University governance, serving as the central liaison between the administration and the Board of Trustees. I know I speak for all of the Trustees when I say that Jerome will be remembered for the skill, generosity, and grace he brought to every dimension of his work. Jerome will step down as Secretary on December 31, 2023 and continue in an advisory role until June 30, 2024.

As Secretary of the University, Jerome managed key institutional priorities on behalf of the Trustees, addressing the most consequential and urgent issues facing Columbia. He maintained the University Statutes, ensuring transparent and effective governance across the institution. Jerome has overseen the process for selecting honorary degree recipients and the winners of the University Medal for Excellence, a time honored and beloved part of our yearly commencement celebrations. For me and especially my predecessor, Lee Bollinger, he has served as a trusted advisor.

Jerome joined Columbia in 2002 as a Special Assistant in the President’s Office. In that role, he managed key strategic initiatives including the Task Forces on the University and Globalization, the Future of Journalism Education, and Undergraduate Education. He was instrumental in managing the search committees for a number of senior University positions and oversaw projects including the launching of the World Leaders Forum and the first Global Colloquium of University Presidents.

Prior to joining Columbia, Jerome owned and operated a technology business focused on the development and commercialization of environmentally benign technologies, and held executive positions in the private sector, including as President of a subsidiary of Cummins Engine Co. He served as a Trustee of Princeton University, on the board of the New York State Civil Liberties Union, and on the Advisory Committee to President Clinton’s Commission on Critical Infrastructure Protection. He received his undergraduate degree from Princeton University and was a Rhodes Scholar at Oxford University. Jerome is also a graduate of Yale Law School, where he was an editor of the Yale Law Journal.

Those who have had the privilege to work with Jerome know the depth of his intellect and the joys of his quick wit. Please join me in thanking Jerome for more than two decades of service to this University. We have all benefitted from his dedication to the University and tireless efforts towards securing its future.


Minouche Shafik
President, Columbia University in the City of New York