In her current role, Dean Cathann Kress, Ph.D., leads the land-grant mission of teaching, research and service for the public good at Iowa State. This $100 million operation connects the full assets of the university with all of Iowa. Her success in using university-wide outreach programs to enhance education and innovation in Iowa communities has aligned with her key responsibility to advise the president and provost on extension and outreach issues.
Kress has taught undergraduate and graduate students at all levels. In addition, her research and applied research efforts have focused on impacts on rural populations. For example, her work has included the impacts of multiple deployments on dependent children of National Guard and Reserve service members; programs to assist disadvantaged children, youth and families; and on achievement gaps that impact rural youth.
Prior to her leadership at Iowa State, Kress served as a senior policy analyst of Military Community and Family Policy at the Department of Defense in Washington, D.C. In addition, she has served as director of youth development at the National 4-H Headquarters, U.S. Department of Agriculture, also in Washington, D.C.; and as assistant director, Cornell Cooperative Extension, and state program leader at Cornell University, Ithaca, New York.
Among her many national leadership roles, she currently serves as a trustee of the W.K. Kellogg Foundation Board in Battle Creek, Michigan; secretary and incoming chair, administrative heads section of the Board on Agriculture Assembly, Association of Public and Land-grant Universities; and as a National 4-H Council trustee.
Kress earned a BS in social work at Iowa State and an MA in counselor education/college student development and a PhD in education, both from the University of Iowa.