James C. Duff

James C. Duff

James C. Duff

President and chief executive officer/Freedom Forum
Chief executive officer/Newseum and President and CEO Newseum Institute

James C. Duff, 60, is president and chief executive officer of the Freedom Forum, a non-partisan foundation devoted to promoting better understanding of constitutional freedoms and the First Amendment. The Freedom Forum is the primary funder of the Newseum, the interactive museum of history, news and technology located on Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington, D.C. Duff also is the CEO of the Newseum.

Duff most recently served as the Director of the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts from July 2006 to September 2011. He supervised and coordinated an annual budget of $7 billion that supported 35,000 employees nationwide. In that capacity, he also served as secretary to the Judicial Conference of the United States and was a member of the board of the Federal Judicial Center.

Duff is former chairman of the U.S. Supreme Court Fellows Commission and a board member of the U.S. Supreme Court Historical Society. He has been an adjunct faculty member in constitutional law at Georgetown University for 15 years, most recently teaching civil liberties to undergraduates.  He was named the Peter Mullen Professor of Law for 2014.

Previously, Duff was managing partner of the Washington office of Baker, Donelson, Bearman, Caldwell & Berkowitz. The law firm's Washington office was founded by Howard Baker Jr., former majority leader of the U.S. Senate.

At the firm, Duff served as counsel and secretary to the Freedom Forum and its affiliates, the Newseum, First Amendment Center and Diversity Institute. He also was appointed by the NCAA to review its procedures and to provide recommendations.

Duff also represented the University of Kentucky's federal interests. As an undergraduate at Kentucky, he was a walk-on member of the basketball team. He graduated from Kentucky in 1975 magna cum laude with a bachelor's degree, Phi Beta Kappa, and High Distinction in its honors program. He received his law degree at Georgetown University Law Center in 1981 and also attended the University of Edinburgh in Scotland.

From 1996 to 2000, Duff served as Counselor/Administrative Assistant to Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist and was his liaison with Congress, the executive branch, and various state and federal organizations involved with the administration of justice. He served as counsel to the chief justice in his role as presiding officer of the presidential impeachment trial in 1999. Duff also assisted Chief Justice Rehnquist in his duties as chancellor of the Smithsonian Institution.

Earlier in his career, Duff was a partner at Clifford & Warnke, where he worked for 12 years until the firm merged in part with Howrey & Simon, where he was a litigation partner for five years. He also worked in Chief Justice Warren E. Burger's chambers for four years while attending Georgetown Law.

He was appointed to the Georgetown Law Center's Board of Visitors in 2014 and serves on the boards of Freedom House, the Supreme Court Historical Society and the University of Kentucky Arts & Sciences Advisory Board. He was named to the University of Kentucky Arts & Sciences Hall of Fame in 2012 and was given the Georgetown Entertainment and Media Law Achievement Award in 2012.

Duff is married to Kathleen Gallagher-Duff, a lawyer at Covington & Burling. They have three children: Matthew, Kaitlin and Scott.

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