IADG Partners Forum Opening Keynote
Debi Durham, Director
Iowa Economic Development Authority and Iowa Finance Authority
Debi Durham is a longtime economic and community development professional who serves as director of the Iowa Economic Development Authority (IEDA) and the Iowa Finance Authority (IFA). Durham was named to the position by Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds in January 2019.
Durham was first appointed to lead IEDA in 2011 and has turned the agency into a successful public-private partnership, landed billion-dollar economic development projects for Iowa and worked tirelessly to expand trade and investment opportunities for the state. She was appointed to lead IFA in 2019, when Governor Reynolds recognized an opportunity to further bolster Iowa’s communities and economy by bringing together IFA and IEDA. Durham prides herself on building coalitions, supporting new ventures, and strengthening the state’s industries and communities.
Prior to joining IEDA | IFA, Durham served as president of the Siouxland Chamber of Commerce.
Her several accolades include seven-time recognition as one of the “Most Influential Business Leaders” in the Des Moines Business Record Book of Lists. She has been named the Iowa Association of Business and Industry’s “Manufacturing Champion,” the Technology Association of Iowa’s “Legislative Advocacy Leader,” and the Iowa Restaurant Association’s “Industry Champion.” Durham also has been recognized by the Business Record as a “Woman of Influence” and received the Christian Petersen Design Award from Iowa State University’s College of Design.
Durham holds a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration, Marketing and Management from Missouri Southern State University. She married her high school sweetheart, Joel, and moved to Sioux City in 1994. They have two children and four grandsons, who are their pride and joy. In her free time, Durham enjoys gardening and doting on her grandsons.