Executive Director, The Harkin Institute for Public Policy & Citizen Engagement

Job Details

Drake University's Harkin Institute for Public Policy & Citizen Engagement is in search of its next transformational leader. The Executive Director is privileged to lead a dynamic international public policy organization that engages in research and programming on issues that advance social justice, fairness, and opportunity.

Acting with integrity and a deep fidelity to the Harkin Institute’s mission, the Executive Director reports to Drake University President Marty Martin and works with Senator Tom Harkin and Ruth Harkin, the Harkin Institute’s staff, and its National Advisory Council to further the organization’s research and programming and secure its financial health.

The Executive Director must be a relationship builder, successful fundraiser, and an excellent public representative and spokesperson for the Harkin Institute. The Executive Director will bring sincere passion and visionary leadership to the Harkin Institute’s commitment to serve as a trusted nonpartisan voice on public policy issues relating to persons with disabilities, wellness and nutrition, retirement security, and labor and employment.

To learn more about this opportunity, review a position profile, and apply, click here: https://www.drake.edu/harkin-executive-director-search/

If you have questions about this position, working at Drake University or the Harkin Institute, or to make referrals or recommendations for this position, please contact Drake University's Executive Director, Human Resources at [email protected].


Drake University is a national, coeducational, independent and private university founded in 1881. The University is comprised of six colleges and schools that offer 45 undergraduate and 15 graduate programs. The College of Arts and Sciences offers numerous undergraduate majors in its four divisions and supports the programs of the other colleges and schools. The College of Business and Public Administration, School of Education, School of Journalism and Mass Communication support extensive undergraduate and graduate programming. The College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences, School of Education, and Law School provide professional doctorates.

Total enrollment is more than 5,600 of whom 3,516 are undergraduates. The university’s student/faculty ratio of 15:1 offers a high-quality, personalized experience with ample opportunity for personal interaction.

Drake is ranked among the top universities in the Midwest for academic quality and value by U.S. News & World Report and Kiplinger's Personal Finance, is and ranked fifth in the “Great Schools, Great Places” category.

Faculty and Staff

For more than 900 faculty and staff members, Drake University is not only an exceptional institution of higher learning, but also an exceptional place to work. The University is committed to attracting, retaining, and rewarding outstanding people, and once again in 2012 The Chronicle of Higher Education recognized us among its “Great Colleges to Work For.”


Drake’s 150-acre campus is located in a residential neighborhood 10 minutes from downtown Des Moines and 15 minutes from the airport. Facilities include modern architectural showplaces as well as buildings listed in the National Register of Historic Places. Cowles Library, Opperman Law Library and a number of special collections serve the needs of students and faculty. A Geological Exhibit, the Pioneer Hi-Bred International Greenhouse, the Municipal Observatory and the Environmental Instructional Facility augment student learning. The Anderson Gallery and valuable artwork in several buildings enhance students’ experience. The Everett A. Sheslow Auditorium with the Jordan Stage, a 1900 structure, is used for concerts, recitals, lectures, and convocations.drake_university1.jpg

Drake fully incorporates technology into all of its majors. Wireless Internet access is available in every academic building on campus, and numerous “smart rooms” give professors the opportunity to incorporate audio/visual and interactive materials in their curricula. Cowles and Opperman libraries feature fully searchable online catalogs and electronic databases, with knowledgeable librarians to help students and faculty conduct fast and thorough research.

Drake is committed to supporting responsible global citizenship. The Chinese Cultural Exchange Program offers a full and active program of exchange opportunities for students and faculty. In addition, Drake has exchange programs with eight universities: Université d'Auvergne, Clermont-Ferrand, France (primarily for business students); Université de Nantes, France; Eberhard Karls Universität Tübingen, Germany; Universidad de Nebrija, Madrid, Spain (primarily for journalism students); Fachhochschule Wiener Neustadt, Austria (primarily for business students); University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban, South Africa; Universita degli Studi di Verona, Italy; and Gakiun Unversity, Japan.

The intellectual and social life of the campus is enriched with concerts, lectures, symposia and theater performances. Noted lecturers have included almost every current Justice on the U. S. Supreme Court. The Bucksbaum Lecturers series has brought people such as Jane Goodall, Tim Russert, Salman Rushdie, Ken Burns, Magic Johnson, and Thomas Friedman to the campus.

Drake supports a full array of Division I athletic teams. The University is the home of the Drake Relays, one of the nation’s premier track and field events and a highlight of the academic year for alumni, students, faculty and staff. Drake has hosted the NCAA Midwest Regional championship and has been selected to host the 2008 NCAA Track and Field Outdoor Championships.


drake_university2.jpgDrake combines the benefits of a safe and friendly “small town” campus with the advantages of a capital city. The Des Moines metro area, with a population of over 500,000, offers a variety of easily accessible cultural, entertainment and career-building experiences. The insurance industry, particularly life insurance, dominates the fast-growing metro economy, and the financial industry's share of total employment is more than two and a half times the national average. The metro area has a well-educated workforce, low business costs, and per capita income comfortably above the national average. The metro area's vibrant economy and affordable housing costs draw new residents from other Midwestern metro areas.

With the third largest insurance industry in the world, a wide variety of media and publishing companies, state and local government, law firms, healthcare, and numerous large corporations, Des Moines provides students extensive internship and service learning opportunities. Drake’s prestige helps faculty attract knowledgeable professionals to add a real-world component to curriculum. The central Iowa location also provides faculty and students with sources for research projects in natural and social sciences, law and healthcare.

Get job alerts

Create a job alert and receive personalized job recommendations straight to your inbox.

Create alert