Iowa Alumni Magazine | August 2014 | People

A Distinguished Leader

By IAM Staff
TThe UIAA's new president brings Hawkeye spirit to his work.
The Show Must Go On PHOTO: TOM JORGENSEN/Ui office of strategic COMMUNICATION

Even though Jeff Kueter has spent the last two decades living on the East Coast, raising a family and working in Washington, DC, he still calls Iowa home. When he returned to the Hawkeye State this summer, it was more than a joyful homecoming—it was the chance to pursue a dream and his passion for the University of Iowa.

On July 31, Kueter*, 93BA, started work as the new president and CEO of the UI Alumni Association, taking over from Vince Nelson, who retired that same month after 26 years. "When the chance arose to work for my alma mater, I grabbed it with both hands," says Kueter. "I'm looking forward to helping other alumni discover everything that the UIAA has to offer."

Kueter graduated from the UI with a bachelor's degree in political science and economics, and he went on to earn two master's degrees—one in political science and one in security policy and science and technology policy studies—from George Washington University. Before joining the UIAA, Kueter served for 11 years as president of the George C. Marshall Institute, a nonprofit corporation that conducts assessments of scientific issues impacting public policy. Previously, he was the research director for the National Coalition for Advanced Manufacturing.

While in Washington, Kueter put his Hawkeye spirit to work by volunteering with the Capital Area IOWA Club. Under his leadership, the organization increased its members and maintained a robust and diverse calendar of events, earning Club of the Year honors from the UIAA for 14 consecutive years. In 2003, Kueter was named Club Leader of the Year. Kueter also gave back to his alma mater by serving on the UIAA's board of directors from 2002 to 2009 and on the political science department's board of advisors.

Through his career and his volunteer endeavors, Kueter gained extensive senior management experience, as well as expertise in nonprofit finances, communications, fundraising, outreach, and membership campaigns. In 2011, in recognition of his success and his dedication to the UI, the alumni association presented Kueter with a Distinguished Young Alumni Award—an honor he calls "a humbling experience that made me so proud."

It also served to remind him of the unique qualities of Iowa alumni. Shortly before the awards ceremony, Kueter and his wife, Tracy, had traveled with an Iowa Voyagers tour. Seeing the announcement about his award, two alumni from the tour attended the ceremony to offer their congratulations. "It was so kind and sweet of them," says Kueter. "It just shows that Iowans are special people."

In the months ahead, Kueter looks forward to meeting other alumni at UIAA events around the country. "The UIAA's slogan, 'Once a Hawkeye...,' means that alumni are part of a community—and from those shared ties you can build new friendships," he says. "That's what happened to me with the Capital Area IOWA Club, and I'm looking forward to helping other alumni develop the same rewarding relationships with their alma mater and their fellow Hawkeyes."