Hensley to continue as strategic adviser
Thursday, August 14, 2014

University of Iowa Vice President for Research and Economic Development Dan Reed announced Aug. 14 several senior staff changes to lead the university’s expanding economic development activities.

David Conrad
David Conrad
Peter Matthes
David Hensley
David Hensley">

David Conrad, previously director of economic development in the UI Office of the Vice President for Research and Economic Development (OVPR&ED), has been named assistant vice president for economic development and will lead in the areas of commercialization, technology transfer, and statewide engagement.

Peter Matthes has been named assistant vice president for community relations in OVPR&ED and will work closely with the university’s economic development team to grow corporate and business partnerships throughout the state. He will retain his role as UI director of federal relations.

David Hensley, OVPR&ED associate vice president for economic development since October 2012, will retain that role, serving as a strategic adviser and economic development consultant, but shift a majority of his effort to his job as executive director of the John Pappajohn Entrepreneurial Center (JPEC). In his dual roles, Hensley will continue to oversee entrepreneurship programs and student incubation activities for the university.

The changes took effect Aug. 1.

UI President Sally Mason lauds the moves and says that along with teaching, research, and service, supporting and helping spur the state’s economic development is a top priority for the university.

“It is clear that Iowa’s public universities must work to not only educate the future workforce but do all they can to ensure there are good jobs at thriving companies waiting when they graduate, and that faculty and student innovators have adequate support to translate great ideas into products and businesses,” Mason says. “This realignment of key people in our organization is an important step toward doing that.”

Reed, who reports directly to Mason and leads economic development activities at the UI, says the changes will allow the university to better align its efforts with the Iowa Board of Regents’ expectations that the three public universities expand their economic development, statewide engagement, technology transfer, and commercialization activities and resources.

“David Conrad and Peter Matthes bring a wealth of talent, community and corporate relationships, and vision to the increasingly important challenge of not only educating Iowa’s workforce, but creating opportunities for them to find good jobs, assisting businesses, and building Iowa’s economy,” he says.

“David Hensley has provided wonderful leadership and will continue to be an integral member of the team,” Reed adds. “As JPEC’s programs continue to expand, he will focus his attention on advocating for and supporting our student entrepreneurs and helping our state’s innovators translate their ideas into businesses, inventions, apps, and other innovations.”

Reed says he is excited to work with a seasoned leadership team as the UI moves forward “on several exciting new fronts in the areas of public-private partnerships, small business development, and entrepreneurship.”

Learn more about the UI’s economic development activities here.