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Robert C. Wilburn
Robert C. Wilburn
Robert Wilburn has served as Chief Executive Officer in six distinct environments over the past 35 years. In each one he has rekindled a new sense of purpose, generating excitement and a vision of new possibilities. Under his leadership, the number of customers, members and/or donors increased sharply within each organization, bringing with them greater commitment and participation. Currently, Dr. Wilburn serves as Director of Carnegie Mellon University's Heinz College in Washington, D.C.
From 2000 to 2009, Dr. Wilburn was President and CEO of the Gettysburg Foundation, raising $110 million and building the acclaimed new visitor center at Gettysburg.
Dr. Wilburn is also a member of the National Commission for the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), the Woodrow Wilson School Advisory Commission of Princeton University, and past president of the International Commission on Monuments and Other Sites (ICOMOS).
Prior to joining the Gettysburg Foundation, Wilburn served as president and CEO of the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation, an organization of some 3,500 employees with an operating budget of nearly $200 million. There, he was successful in reversing a decline in attendance and finances through innovative and interactive on-site programming. Parallel results were achieved at the Carnegie Institute in Pittsburgh, where Dr. Wilburn served as President and CEO from 1984 until 1992. During his tenure, membership tripled, attendance increased sharply and donations soared as the community became increasingly involved.
Before he joined the Carnegie Institute, Dr. Wilburn served as a cabinet member for six years for Pennsylvania Governor Dick Thornburgh, first in charge of the Office of Budget and Administration and then as Secretary of Education. As Secretary of Budget and Administration, in addition to successfully negotiating contracts with each of 23 unions, he directed the creation and adoption of four consecutive balanced budgets with no tax increases, the first time that this had been accomplished since World War II. As Secretary of Education, he shepherded the implementation of the newly legislated State System of Higher Education. In the first major curriculum reform in 25 years, the state revised and enhanced its high school graduation requirements. In addition, the reforms increased teacher training standards and developed the first statewide assessment system for students.
Gov. Dick Thornburgh tapped Dr. Wilburn for service in his Cabinet due to his accomplishments and reputation at Indiana University of Pennsylvania. To become President of IUP, he left a successful career in banking where he had held several positions at Chase Manhattan Bank, including Executive Director of the Asset Liability Management Committee. Prior to that, he held positions in the Defense Department and the White House working on policy development, most notably the legislation creating the all-volunteer armed forces.
Wilburn received his education at the United States Air Force Academy, earning a BS in economics and engineering, and at Princeton University where he earned Masterâ€™s and Ph.D. degrees in economics and public affairs.