Drake’s leadership team is committed to a bold vision for progress: to enhance our position as a premier comprehensive university in the Midwest and as a national leader in higher education for learning, faculty roles, and public service.
We will broaden the recognition we have earned for the exceptional quality of our academic programs and our distinctive commitment to integrating liberal education, professional preparation, and personal development.
Drake’s leadership team brings together experience and expertise with a deep dedication to the University.
David Maxwell, president—President Maxwell has led Drake University through the Office of the President since May 1999, previously serving as director of the National Foreign Language Center, president of Whitman College, and faculty member and dean at Tufts University.
Larry Zimpleman, BN’73, GR’79, chairman, president, and CEO of Principal Financial Group—Mr. Zimpleman is chair of the Drake University Board of Trustees, leading the resource managers and policy makers of the University.
Deneese Jones, provost—Dr. Jones joined the University’s Office of the Provost in June 2012, having previously served as dean of the College of Education and Human Services at Longwood University and in a variety of leadership roles at the University of Kentucky.
The Academic Deans and Chairs—These academic leaders head up the University’s six colleges and schools, the libraries, the interdisciplinary programs, the division of student life, and the academic departments.
Sandy Hatfield Clubb, director of Drake Athletics—Ms. Hatfield Clubb has led the Department of Athletics since 2006, previously serving as senior associate director of athletics and senior women’s administrator at Arizona State.
Thomas F. Delahunt, vice president for admission and financial aid—The leader of Drake’s Admission and Financial Aid teams since 2005, Mr. Delahunt previously served as vice provost for enrollment management at Iona College.
Debra Lukehart, JO’89, executive director of marketing and communications—Ms. Lukehart has led the Marketing and Communications team since 2009. Before coming to Drake, she served as assistant vice president for communication and marketing at Augustana College.
Joe Riesberg, chief information officer–Mr. Riesberg has led the Office of Information Technology since August 2013, having previously served as Senior Vice President, Technology & Security Services within Aviva PLC, based out of London, UK.
Deborah Newsom, vice president for finance and administration—Ms. Newsom began leading Drake’s Office of Finance and Administration in 2011, before which she served as vice president for financial affairs and treasurer at Eastern Kentucky University.
Linda Ryan, executive assistant to the president and secretary of the University—Ms. Ryan has provided support for leadership in the Office of the President since 1992. She previously served as assistant to the president in the Iowa Valley Community College District.
John P. Smith, AS'92 GR'00, vice president for alumni and development—Mr. Smith has led the Alumni and Development team since 2006 after serving in several leadership roles at the University and as assistant vice president/director of principal gifts for Simpson College.
Debra DeLaet, professor of politics and international relations—Dr. DeLaet serves as president of the Drake Faculty Senate in addition to serving as a professor at Drake, as well as chair of the department of politics and international relations in the College of Arts & Sciences.