Inspector general honored at Marymount University

Alumnus Richard Griffin received doctor of humane letters for leadership | June 7, 2004

Richard J. Griffin, inspector general of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs and a Xavier alumnus, was honored by Marymount University for his leadership in public service. Marymount University president James E. Bundschuh conferred the honorary doctor of humane letters upon Griffin during the graduate commencement ceremony in Washington, D.C. on May 9.

Griffin earned his bachelor’s degree in economics from Xavier in 1971 and an MBA from Marymount University in 1984. He is also a graduate of the National War College.

In his 33-year career, Griffin has earned respect among his colleagues as a principled, collaborative and innovative leader. He began his public-service career in 1971 as a criminal investigator with the U.S. Secret Service, then ascended through the ranks and was chosen to serve as a member of the elite President’s Protective Detail during the Carter, Reagan and Bush administrations. Griffin eventually was promoted to deputy director of the Secret Service and served as chairman of the executive planning committee.

In 1994, Griffin received the Presidential Rank Award of Meritorious Executive, a prestigious honor conferred by the president upon individuals who display the highest level of creativity, initiative, flexibility and innovation in providing service to the American people.

Former President Bill Clinton appointed Griffin to the office of inspector general of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) in 1997. In this role, Griffin provides oversight to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of VA programs. He also directs a nationwide staff of auditors, investigators and inspectors to prevent and detect waste, fraud and abuse.

In 2000, Griffin received the the department's exceptional service award. The Washington Metropolitan Chapter of the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners named him the certified fraud examiner of the year in 2003.

Married for more than 31 years, Griffin and his wife, Mary Jane, have raised three children, helping each attain a Catholic undergraduate education.