Media Highlights

Rob Denson, President of DMACC, Named Chair of Leadership Council

by Cara Willis   •  


Rob Denson, President of Des Moines Area Community College, named Chair of Opportunity Nation’s Leadership Council

BOSTON, MA/DES MOINES, IA – Rob Denson, President of Des Moines Area Community College, and a national leader in expanding opportunity for young adults, has been named Chair of Opportunity Nation’s Leadership Council.

The Leadership Council is a network of more than 100 influential Americans who are leading the conversation about how to revitalize the American Dream and raise awareness about the growing opportunity gap in our country. Leadership Council members include Dr. Fareed Zakaria, Arianna Huffington, Angela Glover Blackwell, as well as Iowa’s J. Barry Griswell and Wayne Ford.

“Rob is one of the most dynamic higher education leaders in the country, and his counsel and insight have been instrumental in the campaign’s work to elevate the role of community colleges as cross-sector levers for change,” said Russell Krumnow, Opportunity Nation’s Managing Director.

Rob Denson, President“I’m excited to take on an even more active role with Opportunity Nation as we work together to find bipartisan solutions that help everyday Americans get ahead, particularly teens and young adults,” Denson said. “The Leadership Council is a valuable way to promote the expansion of economic opportunity through thought leaders and influencers who reach diverse audiences.”

Rob Denson was one of Opportunity Nation’s earliest champions. As President of Des Moines Area Community College, the largest community college in Iowa, he immediately saw how the national campaign could accelerate local efforts to strengthen education and career pathways for young Iowans.

Together with J. Barry Griswell, then CEO of the Community Foundation of Greater Des Moines and currently a member of the Leadership Council, Rob founded Opportunity Iowa. This state-level coalition, led by Dr. Mary Chapman, DMACC Ambassador, is working to raise awareness and promote programs that expand upward mobility in Iowa and has recently launched the Opportunity Compass, an online community map to serve as a resource pipeline to opportunities for youth.

About Opportunity Nation:

Opportunity Nation is a bipartisan, national coalition of more than 300 businesses, nonprofits, educational institutions and community leaders working to expand economic opportunity. Opportunity Nation seeks to close the opportunity gap by amplifying the work of its coalition members, advocating policy and private sector actions and releasing the annual Opportunity Index.

About Des Moines Area Community College:

Des Moines Area Community College (DMACC) is a public institution and Iowa’s largest two-year college. DMACC provides quality, a­ffordable, student-centered education and training designed to empower all students in their pursuit of life’s opportunities and career goals. DMACC offers 153 programs, certificates and transfer degrees, annually serving more than 75,000 credit and non-credit students at campuses and learning centers throughout Central Iowa. 


Cara Willis

Cara Willis is the Director of Communications at Opportunity Nation, leading the campaign’s efforts to make economic opportunity a central part of the national dialogue. Cara also directs all of the campaign’s major events, including the National Opportunity Summit. Read Cara's bio.

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