University of Nebraska at Omaha Chancellor Joanne Li, Ph.D., CFA, has announced David Brown as the university’s first Office of the Chancellor’s Executive in Residence.
Brown, who served as president and CEO of the Greater Omaha Chamber of Commerce from 2003 until his retirement earlier this year, has been named to a special appointment to Chancellor Li, where he will provide expertise and strategy for the university’s workforce development initiatives.
“Omaha is the economic engine of our state and as Omaha’s university, we must be constantly developing and enhancing our collaboration with the city’s business community,” Chancellor Li said. “David’s expertise and knowledge will be invaluable as we build an infrastructure that will meet the current and future needs of our city and state.”
Brown, who officially joined UNO on June 1 in his new role, is no stranger to campus. He has been a partner in helping develop UNO’s community engagement efforts throughout his tenure with the Greater Omaha Chamber of Commerce. He also served as a keynote speaker for the College of Business Administration’s Real Estate Center in 2016, presented UNO with a Business Excellence Award in 2017, and helped UNO launch its Career Connect program earlier this year.
“For years I have watched UNO grow and evolve into a force for good in our community, especially as a source of exceptional talent for employers across the state,” Brown said. “It is an honor and a privilege to be a part of this university community and advance its mission to make Omaha the best place to learn, work, teach, live, and grow in our region.”
As president and CEO of the Greater Omaha Chamber, Brown helped oversee an 88 percent growth in the metro area’s GDP since 2003; increased the scope of the Greater Omaha Economic Development Partnership; launched the “GO!” and “Prosper Omaha” economic development strategies including young professional engagement campaigns; and the creation of a Greater Omaha 2040 roadmap.
As Executive in Residence, Brown will primarily focus on tasks such as facilitating opportunities for future business collaborations, identify opportunities for UNO employees to sit on community boards, provide input on campus strategic priorities, and advise on efforts to expand public-private partnerships that support UNO’s mission.
Brown began his career in Michigan in 1983 as president of the Monroe County Industrial Development Corporation before serving 4 years as vice president, and six years as president of the Greater Fort Wayne Chamber of Commerce and then ten years as CEO of the Greenville (South Carolina) Chamber of Commerce.
In addition to his lengthy career in economic development, Brown served on a number of community boards including the Aksarben Future Trust, Opera Omaha, United Way of the Midlands, and U.S. Strategic Command Consultation Committee. He was recognized in 2020 with the Distinguished Nebraskalander Award.
About the University of Nebraska at Omaha
Located in one of America’s best cities to live, work and learn, the University of Nebraska at Omaha (UNO) is Nebraska’s premier metropolitan university. With more than 15,000 students enrolled in 200-plus programs of study, UNO is recognized nationally for its online education, graduate education, military friendliness and community engagement efforts. Founded in 1908, UNO has served learners of all backgrounds for more than 100 years and is dedicated to another century of excellence both in the classroom and in the community.