Richard Riddell is vice president and university secretary, serving as liaison between the university and the Board of Trustees as well as special assistant to the president. Among his responsibilities are coordinating projects involving the president and senior officers and advising the president on a broad range of issues. In addition, he oversees the Office of Special Events and University Ceremonies.
Previously, Riddell served as special assistant to the provost, where he managed university- wide interdisciplinary programs, advised on the arts and humanities, and served as a member of a working group that assisted the provost in developing the university’s strategic plan.
Riddell joined the Duke faculty in 1992 and is the Mary D.B.T. and James H. Semans Professor of the Practice in Theater Studies. Before coming to Duke to lead the then Drama Program and later Department of Theater Studies, he was an administrator and faculty member at Harvard University (1987-1992) and at the University of California, San Diego (1978-1987). He was also a professional lighting and scene designer, receiving the Tony Award in 1985 for excellence in lighting design (Big River). Riddell received his bachelor’s degree from Knox College in Illinois, where he serves as chair of the Board of Trustees, and his Ph.D. from Stanford University.