Robert J. Duffy, lieutenant governor of New York state, will deliver the address and receive an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree at Keuka College’s 106th commencement Sunday, May 25.
Former mayor of Rochester, his hometown, Duffy was elected the Empire State’s 76th lieutenant governor alongside Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo Nov. 2, 2010 and began a four-year term Jan. 1, 2011.
Appointed by Cuomo as chair of the Regional Economic Development Councils, Duffy has focused on supporting the governor’s efforts to rebuild New York’s economy and position the state to be a global economic leader.
Cuomo also named Duffy chair of the Spending and Government Efficiency (SAGE) Commission. In that role Duffy oversees an effort that seeks to make state government more modern, accountable, and efficient. Duffy has also played an instrumental role on the governor’s Mandate Relief Council, chairing a series of statewide mandate relief hearings that sought input from local government officials and constituents as the state seeks to reduce the statutory and regulatory burden on local governments and school districts.
Duffy presided over the historic passage of the Marriage Equality Act—one of Cuomo’s signature issues—on June 24, 2011 while serving in his capacity as president of the New York State Senate.
In 2012, Duffy was awarded the Ellis Island Medal of Honor, given annually by the National Ethnic Coalition of Organizations to honor notable American citizens who demonstrate a life committed to community service.
Duffy was elected mayor of Rochester in 2005 and was re-elected four years later. Prior to that, he had a 28-year career with the Rochester Police Department, the last seven as chief of police.
He holds a bachelor’s degree from RIT and a master’s degree from Syracuse University’s Maxwell School.