Robert Specter

Executive Vice President, Chief Operating Officer and University Treasurer, The Catholic University of America


Robert M. Specter serves The Catholic University of America as its Executive Vice President, Chief Operating Officer, and Treasurer, where he oversees the university’s business operations, operating and capital budgets, human resources, investments, real estate and facilities design, and construction and maintenance, including power generation and distribution. He joined the University in 2015. Previously, Rob was Vice President for Administration and Finance at the University of Maryland, where he initiated planning for the university’s improvements to nearby College Park neighborhoods. He served as Vice President for Finance at the University of Delaware (UD), guiding its financial course during the challenging economic recession of 15 years ago and developing the UD STAR Campus from a former automobile manufacturing plant into a fast-growing health care complex for research and clinical services provision.

In partnership with UD’s College of Earth, Ocean and Environment and a private turbine manufacturer, he founded First State Marine Wind LLC, which built and profitably operates a 2.0 megawatt wind turbine as part of the university’s research and development in alternative energy technologies. He also served as Board Chair of Blue Hen Hotel LLC, which owns and operates a Marriott-flagged hotel in Newark, DE.

Earlier in his career Rob served in vice presidential roles at the City University of New York, Oregon State University, and Montana State University. He was a charter member of the US Green Building Council’s Cascadia Region as the initial Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) sustainability metrics were implemented, and of the Urban Land Institute’s University Development Council.

Rob currently serves on the Board of Directors of an electrical grid cybersecurity education and advocacy group and on the MidAtlantic Council of the Society for College and University Planning. He is a former board member of the Western Association of College and University Business Officers and a frequent presenter at professional association meetings on topics such as enterprise risk management, university finance, and campus implementation strategies for alternative energy projects.

Rob earned his bachelor’s degree in Geoscience at the University of Rochester, an MS degree in Geology at the New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology, and an MBA at Arizona State University’s W.P. Carey School of Business.