Chris Simmons

Vice President for Government Relations at Duke University

Chris Simmons is the Vice President for Government Relations at Duke. In this capacity, he oversees all facets of government relations at Duke and serves as a member of the President’s Cabinet.  He arrived at Duke in 2006 after serving in lead advocacy roles for the Association of American Universities (AAU) and the American Council on Education (ACE) in Washington, DC. Simmons is Duke’s principal point of contact and spokesperson on legislative and regulatory issues involving the federal government, Congress, and the Administration, in areas such as student financial aid, academic research, international education, tax policy, intellectual property, and immigration. He also oversees Duke in DC, Duke’s academic center and home for research and official events in Washington, DC.

Chris currently serves as the Chair of the Public Issues Committee for the Consortium on Financing Higher Education (COFHE) and is the past Chairman of the Board for the North Carolina Museum of Life and Science. He is the inaugural director of the Nakayama Public Service Scholars Program at Duke and serves as an undergraduate academic advisor for the University. He is a graduate of the National Outdoor Leadership School (NOLS) Executive Leadership Expedition, and teaches cycle classes several times a week at the YMCA. In 2020, Chris was recognized for career excellence and distinguished contributions to national leadership in higher education with the AAU Legacy Award.

Simmons is a graduate of Willamette University where he majored in rhetoric and art. He received his graduate degree from Harvard University.

Photo of Chris Simmons