Staff appointments, promotions
Princeton NJ — Two new staff members have been appointed to positions with responsibilities for the University’s government and community relations.
Joyce Rechtschaffen, minority staff director and counsel for the U.S. Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs and a 1975 graduate of the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, has been named the director of government affairs. Effective May 15, she will serve as Princeton’s principal representative in Washington on matters related to federal policy and legislation and will oversee the University’s Washington office.
Kristin Appelget, president and chief executive officer of the Princeton Regional Chamber of Commerce, has been named director of community and regional affairs. She will begin her new position on May 22, overseeing and seeking to strengthen the University’s relationships with the five municipalities and two counties in which it is located.
Rechtschaffen has served as both majority and minority staff director for the Senate committee, reporting to Connecticut Sen. Joseph Lieberman. She played key roles in the creation of the Department of Homeland Security and in the Intelligence Reform and Terrorist Prevention Act of 2004 that resulted in the most significant overhaul of the intelligence community in 50 years.
Rechtschaffen previously served for 10 years as legislative assistant and counsel in Lieberman’s office, with special responsibility for environmental, energy and transportation issues, and as counsel of the Subcommittee on Clean Air and Nuclear Regulation of the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works.
“Joyce is one of the most experienced and widely respected staff members on Capitol Hill,” said Vice President and Secretary Robert Durkee, to whom Rechtschaffen will report. “Her colleagues point to her exceptional intelligence and insight, her strong leadership and management skills, and her commitment to high standards and hard work.”
As an undergraduate at Princeton, Rechtschaffen earned high honors, graduated Phi Beta Kappa and served as a reporter and executive editor of the student newspaper, The Daily Princetonian. She graduated from Harvard Law School in 1978 and spent five years in private practice in Washington before moving to a position in the U.S. Justice Department. She succeeds Diane Jones, who became deputy associate director of the science division in the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy.
Appelget is a member and former president of West Windsor Township Council and a fourth-generation resident of the Princeton area.
“As president of the chamber and a council member in West Windsor, Kristin has been an excellent leader and an attentive listener,” said Durkee. “She is widely respected and admired for her intelligence and perceptiveness, her ability to work effectively with a wide range of people, and her deep commitment to the communities in which she has lived and worked. She is thoughtful, approachable, creative, persistent and hard-working. I can’t imagine a better person to take on the many and demanding responsibilities of this critically important — and uniquely challenging — position.”
A magna cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa graduate of the University of Notre Dame in South Bend, Ind., Appelget worked in the financial services industry until 2002 when she left UBS PaineWebber to become president and CEO of the Princeton Regional Chamber of Commerce. Under her leadership, the chamber changed its organizational structure, achieved unprecedented growth in membership, relocated in Princeton Borough, created new programs, and interacted extensively with local, regional and statewide government officials on public policy creation, implementation and advocacy.
In 1999, Appelget was elected to a four-year term on the West Windsor Township Council, and she was re-elected in 2003. She served twice as president, in 2000-01 and 2003-04, and once as vice president, in 1999-2000. She will be leaving her position on township council on May 8. A member and current treasurer of the YWCA board of directors and a recipient of several awards from the Princeton Corridor Rotary Club, Appelget also has served on the Princeton HealthCare System Community Advisory Committee for Strategic Planning and the West Windsor-Plainsboro High School Futures Committee. Last year she was recognized with the West Windsor-Plainsboro High School South Alumni Achievement Award.
Appelget will succeed Pam Hersh, who became vice president for government and community affairs for the Princeton HealthCare System. In addition to Appelget’s appointment, Durkee announced two other changes related to the community and regional affairs office:
• Responsibility for the University’s relations with the state of New Jersey will be reassigned from this office to Director of Public Affairs Karen Jezierny and the name of the office will revert from “community and state affairs” to its original “community and regional affairs.”
• Karen Woodbridge, associate director of the Office of Community and State Affairs, will be promoted to the position of director of community relations in the renamed Office of Community and Regional Affairs. In cooperation with the director of community and regional affairs, she will be responsible for representing the University in the community, especially outside of governmental and regulatory venues. She also will oversee the University’s community auditing and continuing education programs, and will continue to serve as a special assistant to the vice president and secretary.