A trustee emeritus since 2007 and trustee since 1995, Murphy is the president of Richard W. Murphy Associates. He is an adjunct scholar and past chairman of the Middle East Institute; former Hasib Sabbagh Senior Fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations; past assistant secretary of state of the Near East and South Asia; ambassador to Saudi Arabia, Philippines, Syria, and Mauritania. He is a board member of the Foundation for Middle East Peace, and past chairman of the Friends of UN Relief and Works Agency Association, and a former board member of the Harvard Medical International and chairman of the Foreign Students Service Council. He is a graduate of Harvard University (BA ’51) and Cambridge University (AB ’53). He conducted postgraduate studies at the U.S. Foreign Service Institute in Beirut (’59-’60).