President Wendy Wintersteen has permanently appointed David Spalding to vice president for economic development and industry relations (EDIR), effective Sept. 1 and pending approval by the state Board of Regents.

Spalding, who recently was reappointed to a new five-year term as Raisbeck Endowed Dean of the Ivy College of Business, has held the interim VP role since May 2018. EDIR serves as a single point of contact to streamline connections between industry and Iowa State’s economic development units: America’s Small Business Development Centers Iowa (SBDC), Center for Industrial Research and Service (CIRAS), Office of Innovation Commercialization, ISU Pappajohn Center for Entrepreneurship and the ISU Research Park.

“David has done an extraordinary job helping position Iowa State University as the top source for talent, research and services that create value for Iowa businesses and strengthen the state’s economy,” Wintersteen said. “He’s been integral in advancing my vision to make Iowa State a national and global leader in entrepreneurship and innovation.”

Wintersteen noted Spalding’s outstanding leadership and the exceptional efforts of the EDIR team have contributed to numerous awards and accomplishments for Iowa State University. A selected list includes the following:

  • Winning first place and the title of 2023 Entrepreneurial University of the Year for the Americas by the Accreditation Council for Entrepreneurial and Engaged Universities.
  • Improving Iowa State’s national ranking from #26 to #11 and maintaining it for three years in the Princeton Review’s annual survey of undergraduate entrepreneurship programs.
  • Earning four Association of Public and Land-grant Universities (APLU) Innovation & Economic Prosperity Awards.
  • Receiving the 2022 Nasdaq Center for Entrepreneurial Excellence Award, the highest honor from the Global Consortium of Entrepreneurship Centers.
  • Being named the 2021 Model Program from the U.S. Association for Small Business and Entrepreneurship, the organization’s highest entrepreneurship education award.
  • Consistently ranking in the top 100 universities worldwide for number of U.S. patents.
  • Expanding the ISU Research Park to more than 550 acres, 130 tenant companies and more than 2,300 employees.
  • Growing CIRAS’s five-year statewide impact to more than 4,400 clients served, more than $3 billion in increased sales, cost-savings and new investments; and nearly 36,000 jobs created or retained.
  • Increasing SBDC’s statewide impact to support the creation of four new businesses every week, 164 new jobs per month, and more than $3 million in increased sales every week.

“I would like to thank everyone who works hard every day in EDIR,” Spalding said. “Our team is committed to enhancing the economy in all 99 counties in the state of Iowa and supporting the mission of Iowa State University.”

Spalding has been with Iowa State University since 2013.



Media Contact:

Alison Doyle, Iowa State University Research Park