Dr. David Maxwell served as president of Drake University from 1999-2015 and held a faculty appointment as professor of literature. He was named president emeritus by the Drake Board of Trustees upon his retirement. Maxwell was also the director of the National Foreign Language Center in Washington DC from 1993 to 1999, after serving as president of Whitman College from 1989 to 1993. He was at Tufts University from 1971 to 1989 as a faculty member in Russian language and literature and served as Dean of Undergraduate Studies from 1981-89.
Maxwell is an emeritus member of the Business-Higher Education Forum and was the chair of The New American Colleges and Universities. He has served on the boards of directors of the American Council on Education, the Association of American Colleges & Universities, the National Association of Independent Colleges & Universities, and is currently a member of the board of directors of the Council on Higher Education Accreditation. He is a member of the Higher Education Working Group on Global Issues of the Council on Foreign Relations and the National Leadership Council of AAC&U’s “Liberal Education for America’s Promise” Initiative. He was elected to the Grinnell College Board of Trustees in 2015.
As a senior administrator, he has significant experience in a broad range of areas that include: program review and prioritization; institutional change; strategic planning; shared governance and board development; internationalization and globalization; integration of liberal arts education with preparation for careers; fundraising and community relations.
Dr. Maxwell earned his bachelor’s degree in Russian area studies from Grinnell College in 1966. He received his master’s and doctorate degrees in Slavic languages and literatures from Brown University, in 1968 and 1974, respectively.