Reed hired to lead next chapter of growth and impact for premiere public policy institute

Drake University President Marty Martin announced today that Matthew Reed will serve as the next executive director of The Harkin Institute of Public Policy & Citizen Engagement. As executive director, Reed will lead all aspects of The Harkin Institute, which was founded by former U.S. Sen. Tom Harkin in 2013, to engage in rigorous public policy research and citizen engagement programming that advances social justice, fairness, and opportunity for all.

Matthew Reed

“Dr. 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,” said President Martin.

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,” said Sen. Harkin. “He’s dedicated, collaborative, and visionary. Ruth and I could not be more pleased to welcome him to lead the next chapter of impact at The Harkin Institute.”

Reed comes to The Harkin Institute after serving most recently as Vice President for Academic Affairs at Brookdale Community College in New Jersey, one of the most acclaimed and comprehensive, multi-campus community colleges in the nation. As Vice President for Academic Affairs, Reed served as Chief Academic Officer for the college’s 9,000 students and more than 180 full-time faculty members.

Trained as a political scientist, Reed graduated with honors in political science from Williams College in Williamstown, MA, and earned his doctorate from Rutgers University. He has published and lectured widely on such topics as political polarization and apathy, as well as the relationship between community colleges and democracy.

Recognized as a national thought-leader for his work on expanding access to higher education, Reed has been a featured columnist for Inside Higher Ed since 2007 and has published numerous articles as well as Confessions of a Community College Administrator, a book which has served as a key text for community college leadership programs.

Prior to Brookdale, Reed served as Vice President for Academic Affairs at Holyoke Community College in Holyoke, MA, as Division Dean of Liberal Arts at the County College of Morris, and as Dean of General Education at DeVry University in New Jersey. He has also served as Senior Executive Officer for the New Jersey Council of County Colleges.

“I couldn’t be more honored to lead this vital and essential organization,” said Reed. “This is a critical moment for our democracy and an exciting moment to engage in rigorous, non-partisan 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.”

Founded in 2013, The Harkin Institute for Public Policy & Citizen Engagement at Drake University facilitates collaborative, high-quality, nonpartisan, multi-disciplinary public policy research and analysis dedicated to the issues that defined Sen. Harkin’s legislative career. These include labor and employment, people with disabilities, retirement security, and wellness and nutrition.

The Harkin Institute is also dedicated to informing citizens, inspiring creative cooperation, and catalyzing change. It was founded on the premise that good public policy is best achieved when policymakers have access to high quality information, political processes are open and well understood, and citizens are informed and active participants.