UI completes economic development leadership team
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The University of Iowa has completed assembling its leadership team to guide its economic development activities in Iowa.
David Conrad joined the UI last month as the economic development director in the Office of Vice President for Research and Economic Development (OVPR&ED). He will direct the UI’s engagement activities throughout the Hawkeye State, including workforce training and spurring new and expanded partnerships between the university and industry.
Conrad comes from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, where he was associate vice chancellor for technology development. In that role, he established university-industry partnerships and created an entrepreneur-in-residence program, among other achievements.
“I am pleased to welcome David to our leadership team at the UI,” says Daniel Reed, the UI’s vice president for research and economic development. “He brings talent, ideas, and a wealth of experience that will serve us well as we make good on our pledge to have a more robust engagement with Iowa in economic development, entrepreneurism, refreshing worker job skills and partnering with businesses of all sizes statewide.”
Conrad says he’s excited to return to Iowa and take part in advancing the economic development agenda. He founded a software startup company, called Emerjent, Inc., in Ames in the mid-2000s and was a licensing associate for the Iowa State University Research Foundation from 2004 to 2006.
“Part of my job now is making university resources and programs even more accessible to Iowa companies,” Conrad says. “That means making visits and setting up relevant programs companies can easily take advantage of. Through university-industry partnerships, the UI can help create new companies, make existing ones more competitive and improve economic conditions across Iowa.”
One initiative Conrad pointed to is assembling faculty-led teams to assist small- and medium-sized companies in Iowa with addressing information-technology issues. Those teams are expected to travel regularly throughout the state to offer hands-on guidance, beginning next year.
Conrad earned a doctorate in chemistry from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and a Master of Business Administration from Duke University. He is the inventor on six issued patents.
He joins David Hensley, associate vice president for economic development, and Reed in the leadership team within OVPR&ED. Reed joined the UI last fall, coming from Microsoft, where he directed emerging technologies. Since his arrival, Reed has traveled throughout the state, learning about economic development strengths and opportunities in the state and developing strategic plans to leverage university resources and personnel to stimulate job growth, entrepreneurism and industry partnerships in Iowa.