David Maxwell, Ph.D., has been president of Drake University since May of 1999. His presidency at Drake has been an example of leading with character and civility.
Using the University’s Statement of Principles as a guide, President Maxwell encourages the campus community to engage in healthy debate and discussion of differing opinions – supporting a climate of respect and tolerance. He has supported a meaningful partnership between Drake University and Character Counts In Iowa – a partnership which innately supports the University’s culture of excellence.
Born in New York City, 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.
President Maxwell serves on the Community Board of the Wells Fargo Bank, Iowa, the Implementation Committee of the Capital Crossroads initiative and is a member of the Greater Des Moines Committee. He is a past member of the Board of the Greater Des Moines Partnership, past President of the Des Moines Higher Education Collaborative, past chair of the Iowa Association of Independent Colleges & Universities, and past chair of the Missouri Valley Conference.
In 2011, Dr. Maxwell received the Chief Executive Leadership Award from District VI, Council for
Advancement and Support of Education. In 2012, he received the A. Arthur Davis Distinguished
Community Leadership Award from the Greater Des Moines Leadership Institute.
Dr. Maxwell is married to Madeleine Mali Maxwell, formerly a creative director. They are the parents of Justin, a user experience guru in Silicon Valley, and Stephen, a physicist at a national laboratory.