Andrew (Drew) Conrad

Director - IDM


B.A. (American History/Pre-Law) and Masters in Public Policy (MPP)

Graduate of the Economic Development Institute (EDI) at the University of Oklahoma

Certified Economic Developer (CEcD) – International Economic Development Council

Certified Community Researcher (CCR) - Council for Community and Economic Research

Economic Gardening Professional Certification - Market Research - EGc(MR) - National Center for Economic Gardening


Drew brings over two decades of experience in statewide economic development planning and research to his leadership role. Drew facilitates strategic planning and regional economic research for communities and economic development organizations. He designs, delivers and provides follow-up support for economic development services including strategic and short-term planning, community assessments, cluster analysis, target industry analysis, supply chain mapping and other applied research projects. He also coordinates graduate and undergraduate students assistants and works with UNI faculty on applied research projects.

Professional Accomplishments

Prior to becoming IDM Director, Drew was IDM’s Senior Program Manager and Special Projects Manager for UNI’s Business and Community Services. Drew previously served as Marketing Manager for the Industrial Site Location Program (ISLP) at the University of Northern Iowa, where he provided technical assistance to communities and was responsible for marketing and providing information about the ISLP to business clients, community groups, economic development groups, the general public, and local, state and federal government officials.

Prior to joining the University, Drew served in the Scott County Office of County of Administrator where he provided assistance with assisted with Board issues, applied research and employee enhancement projects.

Drew is active in various professional and community organizations and volunteer activities. He currently represents the Board of Regents on the Iowa Workforce Development Board and serves on Iowa’s Sector Partnership Leadership Council and the UNI Alumni Association Board of Directors. He is a Past Chair for the Council for Community and Economic Research, a Past President of the Professional Developers of Iowa and Past Board Chair for the Leadership Iowa Board of Governors. He has held board positions with the Waterloo Chamber of Commerce, Black Hawk Leadership, Waterloo Neighborhood Economic Development Corporation and is a past President of the Waterloo Jaycees, a past Co-Chair of the Waterloo Jaycees Greater Waterloo Open Golf Classic and past Chair of the Waterloo Fireworks Festival.

Latest News & Views

ABP 2021
UNI Business class helps budget forecast for Iowa Arboretum

Ronnie Chen, assistant professor of finance, loves to bring practical experience into the classroom. When he saw an opportunity to the help the Iowa Arboretum, the Boone County nonprofit arboretum where he has volunteered for a couple of years, with its three-year budget, he seized it.

3 months 1 week ago
UNI Minority Entrepreneur Incubator Students
UNI Business partners with Waterloo to launch minority-owned business accelerator

The pandemic has damaged businesses across the country. Federal aid in the form of Paycheck Protection Program—which began April 3 and ended Aug. 8 and handed out 5.2 million loans worth $525 billion—provided an essential crutch. But some businesses, particularly Black-owned and minority-owned businesses, were largely locked out, according to a recent report from the Association Press and CBS.

5 months 4 weeks ago
Travis Steffen
Serial entrepreneur got his start at UNI’s John Pappajohn Entrepreneurial Center

Travis Steffen remembers the first time he contemplated building a business. An undergraduate student, he was sitting in his dorm room at Dancer Hall, chatting with his two roommates. They wanted to make bed lofts and sell them to incoming students. They calculated a $10,000 profit, life-changing money in college. Although they later found out UNI already contracted with a bed loft company and dropped the idea, Steffen couldn’t shake the potential.

7 months 3 weeks ago
UNI business students at career fair
The complete guide to choosing a college major

College is an exciting time in your life, but don’t spend all four years merely enjoying it – you should take advantage of this time to determine exactly what you want to do with your life. This article will help you decide how to choose your college major that fits your long-term goals.

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The anxiety young people have about maturing in their twenties has lead to the word "adulting" becoming quite popular. It's a useful, albeit somewhat glib, catch-all term for taking care of yourself. Doing your laundry? Adulting. Scrambling an egg? Adulting. In truth, the real sign of adulthood is living a life that's within your control, and for that, there are several iOS apps to help. With these five apps, anyone can "adult" -- or at least fake it when they need to. 


11 months 1 day ago
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5 highly effective Gmail tools you should be using but probably aren't

Do you use Gmail for your business or personal email correspondence? Do you want to improve your email experience, rather than rely on Google's standard email interface? Thanks to developers within the email productivity space, there are a growing number of productivity apps available for Gmail users. Following are five powerful Gmail productivity tools to consider adding to your email routine:

11 months 4 days ago