Alumnus Jeffrey Harris named chair of RIT Board of Trustees

Harris will serve a three-year term as chair after more than a decade on the board

A. Sue Weisler

Outgoing chairperson of RIT's Board of Trustees, Donald Truesdale ’87, left, hands the gavel to incoming chairperson Jeffrey Harris '75 as President David Munson looks on.

Jeffrey Harris has been named the 21st chairperson of Rochester Institute of Technology’s Board of Trustees.

Harris, who resides in Annapolis, Md., and has served on the RIT board for nearly 15 years, graduated from RIT in 1975 with a Bachelor of Science degree in photographic sciences. He thrived in the experiential nature of RIT’s imaging science program, which led him to a career advancing national security programs in both government and industry.

Currently consulting for both industry and government organizations, Harris has served as president of Lockheed Martin Missiles and Space, as well as Lockheed Martin Special Programs. He was also president of Space Imaging, the first company to commercially provide high-resolution satellite imagery of the Earth and information products.

Before his corporate career, Harris served in senior national leadership positions, including assistant secretary of the Air Force for Space, director of the National Reconnaissance Office, and associate executive director of the Intelligence Community Management Staff. In these roles, he provided direct support to the Secretary of Defense and the Director of Central Intelligence.

In April, Harris was honored as RIT’s Outstanding Alumnus for his ongoing support and career achievements. Previously, he received the College of Science Distinguished Alumni Award and the Nathaniel Rochester Society Award.

In honor of his mother, Harris, and his partner, Joyce Pratt, established the J.K. (Jane King) Harris Scholarship for a Rochester City Scholar. They have also generously supported the Chester F. Carlson Center for Imaging Science and the performing arts at RIT.

His engagement as an active member of the RIT community has helped to frame the university’s strategic plan that leverages insights gained by working with students and faculty.

Harris received the gavel from his predecessor Donald Truesdale ’87 at a board of trustees meeting on Nov. 11. 

The RIT board has 42 active trustees and 32 trustees of emeritus status.

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