Biography of President Wendy Wintersteen

Dr. Wendy Wintersteen was selected Oct. 23, 2017, to serve as Iowa State University's 16th president. She assumed the office Nov. 20 and is the first woman president in the university’s history.

From 2006-2017, Dr. Wintersteen served as dean of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences and director of the Iowa Agriculture and Home Economics Experiment Station at Iowa State University. She was the first to hold an endowed deanship at Iowa State. During her tenure, the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences was ranked in the top 10 in the world (Quacquarelli Symonds ratings); experienced record enrollment growth (third largest in the nation); established innovative teaching partnerships, including the Global Resource Systems interdisciplinary major; expanded student opportunities in entrepreneurship through the Agriculture Entrepreneurship Initiative; enhanced diversity and inclusion efforts; raised nearly $250 million in private support; and completed several major building projects.

Dr. Wintersteen's career at Iowa State spans nearly 40 years, beginning as an extension associate in integrated pest management. After completing her doctorate, she served as a professor of entomology with a brief stint in Washington D.C., and then assumed a number of administrative roles in extension and the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences.

Dr. Wintersteen represents Iowa State University on many state, national and international boards. She serves on the Board of Directors of the University Innovation Alliance, a coalition of 11 public research universities aimed at making college degrees more attainable for students with financial needs and closing the achievement gap; the Cultivation Corridor, a regional economic initiative to establish Iowa as the global center for excellence in agbiosciences, advanced manufacturing, and technology sectors; and the Farm Foundation. In 2013, she was appointed by U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack to the board of directors of the U.S.-Israel Binational Agricultural Research and Development Fund.  

She is a past president and board member of the Charles Valentine Riley Memorial Foundation, which works in support of greater funding for food, agricultural and natural resources research through a unified message to meet global challenges of a growing population, limited arable land, climate change and new pest and disease pressures. She is the 2015 recipient of the President’s Award from the Council for Agricultural Science and Technology and the 2016 recipient of the Carl F. Hertz Distinguished Service to Agriculture Award from the American Society of Farm Managers and Rural Appraisers.

Dr. Wintersteen earned a bachelor’s of science degree in crop production from Kansas State University and her Ph.D. in entomology from Iowa State University. 


Updated: March 15, 2018