Having spent 8th grade through high school in an all-boys boarding school (and summers at an all-boys camp), Rich was ready for a co-educational college experience, and so was Williams—he was part of the first class at Williams to have women as first years. As a student, he served as a Junior Advisor, played rugby, and majored in American civilization. He counts among his closest lifelong friends many of the women and men he met as classmates, faculty, and staff members at Williams.
After Williams, he earned a law degree from the College of William & Mary and then moved to San Francisco to begin practicing law, first for two law firms and then as in-house counsel at various electronics and technology companies. He worked first for NEC Electronics, and after 4 years became the General Counsel of Zilog, a logic semiconductor company located in Silicon Valley. After 14 years at Zilog, Rich went to work for Plantronics, the world leader in communications headsets and related software, where he served for more than 15 years, until October 2016, as vice president, general counsel, and secretary. Today he continues to work part-time for Plantronics in a phased retirement program.
Rich has been a member of the Board of Trustees since 2013 and an active alumnus for many years before that. He helped interview student applicants and eventually coordinated the regional admission assistance program—for which he was honored with the Frederick C. Copeland Award in 1995. Rich served on the Executive Committee of the Society of Alumni from 1995 to 1998, and then as vice president and president of the Society of Alumni, in 2000 and 2002, respectively. In 2005, he received the Rogerson Cup for alumni service, loyalty and achievement. He has served also as treasurer for his class and as associate class agent.
Outside of Williams, Rich’s service includes membership on the board of directors of the Santa Cruz (Calif.) Chamber of Commerce, and he’s a Global Ambassador for Mothers2Mothers, the organization founded by Mitchell Besser ’76 to help end pediatric AIDS in Africa. Rich also works through Plantronics, the Silicon Valley Leadership Group and the Second Harvest Food Bank to help provide more than 1.5 million meals per year to the residents of Santa Cruz County.
Rich and his wife Carol live in Los Gatos, Calif., and have three children: Rob ’05, Jake (a University of California Santa Barbara grad), and Jamie ’10.