Governor Terry E. Branstad appointed Debi Durham director of the Iowa Department of Economic Development in January 2011. Director Durham oversees IEDA’s efforts to develop and expand Iowa’s entrepreneurial ecosystem. In collaboration with the Iowa Innovation Corporation, the private side of the public-private partnership, funding to support companies at early stages of development was increased and the mentoring processes to ensure these companies could be successful were made more robust. Further, in her role as a senior advisor to the Governor Branstad and Lt. Governor Reynolds, Debi plays an integral role in the Home Base Iowa initiative to place veterans in rewarding careers at Iowa employers. Also under Director Durham’s leadership, efforts to expand Iowa’s apprenticeship programs – both providing Iowans with good paying career opportunities and Iowa businesses with the highly skilled employees they need to grow – were successful in 2014. Prior to leading Iowa’s economic development initiatives, she served as president of the Siouxland Chamber of Commerce since July 1995. She also served as president of The Siouxland Initiative (TSI), the economic development corporation serving the tri-state metropolitan area, and the Siouxland Chamber Foundation. TSI has routinely been recognized as one of the nation’s top economic development groups. Debi also serves on the board of directors for Briar Cliff University, located in Sioux City, Iowa. Debi holds a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration and a Marketing and Management degree from Missouri Southern State University.