Derrick Willis named Associate Director of Iowa's UCEDD

September 18, 2017

On August 1, Derrick Willis, MPA, became the Associate Director of Iowa's University Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities (UCEDD) at The Center for Disabilities and Development (CDD) at University of Iowa Health Care. For the past twelve years, Derrick was a Research Associate and directed urban mission work for the Institute for Human Development, Missouri's UCEDD, working under the leadership of Dr. Carl Calkins, who has directed Missouri's UCEDD since its beginning.

"Advancing my career within the AUCD network was important for me. The chance to be a part of the new leadership of the Iowa UCEDD, working alongside Julie Christensen and the rest of the leadership team, was very appealing, and provided an excellent opportunity for me to grow as a leader within the AUCD network, " said Mr. Willis. "While under the leadership of Bob Bacon, the Iowa UCEDD earned a position of great respect in the state, and I am truly honored to be a part of a team that will build on the legacy of his work."

Mr. Willis' background includes 32 years of experience working at local not-for-profits, state government and Higher Education. His career has centered on at-risk youth and families from diverse backgrounds living in urban communities; and he brings experience in mental health, substance and alcohol abuse treatment and prevention, violence prevention, education transition, employment and Cultural Competency. He has experience in the development, administration, and evaluation of grant-funded projects from local, state and federal funders. Derrick received his undergraduate degree (Sociology) from William Penn University and a Master's in Public Administration from Park University in Kansas City MO. Mr. Willis is a past recipient of AUCD's Multicultural Award for Leadership in Diversity and a graduate of the National Leadership Consortium on Developmental Disabilities.