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Reed named executive director of the Harkin Institute

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Matthew Reed

Drake University President Marty Martin announced today that Matthew Reed will serve as the next executive director of the Harkin Institute for Public Policy & Citizen Engagement.

As executive director, Reed will lead all aspects of the Harkin Institute, which facilitates collaborative, nonpartisan and multi-disciplinary public policy research and analysis dedicated to the issues that defined Harkin Institute founder and former U.S. Sen. Tom Harkin’s legislative career. These include labor and employment, people with disabilities, retirement security, and wellness and nutrition.

“Reed’s depth of experience as a leader in both civic and academic life makes him the ideal person to lead the Harkin Institute’s next chapter,” Martin said in a news release.

Reed’s appointment follows a national search led by Koya Partners, the executive recruiting firm focused on mission-driven leadership.

“Matt’s commitment to improving the lives of individuals, families and communities through effective public policy and increased citizen engagement is deep and inspiring,” Harkin said in a prepared statement. “He’s dedicated, collaborative and visionary.”

Reed was previously vice president for academic affairs at Brookdale Community College in New Jersey. In the role, Reed served as chief academic officer for the college’s 9,000 students and more than 180 full-time faculty members.

Before Brookdale, Reed served as vice president for academic affairs at Holyoke Community College in Holyoke, Mass.; as division dean of liberal arts at the County College of Morris in Randolph, New Jersey; and as dean of general education at DeVry University in New Jersey. He has also served as the senior executive officer for the New Jersey Council of County Colleges.

Reed has also published and lectured widely on topics such as political polarization and apathy, as well as the relationship between community colleges and democracy.

“I couldn’t be more honored to lead this vital and essential organization,” Reed said in a news release. “This is a critical moment for our democracy and an exciting moment to engage in rigorous, nonpartisan research to advance human welfare and opportunity for all. I look forward to working across Iowa and around the world to connect our work to the most critical issues of our time.”

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