Distinguished Alumni

An Iowa State adventure is different for everyone. See how real Iowa State alumni have transformed what they discovered at Iowa State into a lifetime of adventure.

  • Sawsan Al-Sharifi (MS '81 ani sci, PhD '83), former Iraqi Minister of Agriculture
  • Clayton Anderson (MS '83 aerospace engr), NASA astronaut
  • Jane Armstrong-Byrne ('57 hotel, restaurant, and instit mgmt), one of the first female vice presidents of a U.S. Fortune 500 Company
  • John Vincent Atanasoff (MS '26 math), inventor of the electronic digital computer
  • Robert Bartley ('59 journalism), former editor, The Wall Street Journal, and 2003 Presidential Medal of Freedom recipient
  • Luis Ernesto Derbez Bautista (PhD '80 econ), former Mexican Secretary of Foreign Affairs and Secretary of Economics
  • Stephanie Burns (PhD '82 organic chem), chairman, president, and CEO of Dow Corning
  • George Washington Carver (1894 ag, MS 1896), honored scientist
  • Vance D. Coffman ('67 aeronautical engr), retired CEO, Lockheed Martin Corporation
  • Nancy Cox ('70 bacteriology), director of the Influenza Division, Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and 2006 U.S. Federal Employee of the Year
  • Eric Crowell ('80 indus admin), CEO, Iowa Health Des Moines
  • Michael J. Dubes ('66 phys ed), retired president, Conseco Insurance Group
  • Nawal El Moutawakel ('88 phys ed), first Arab woman, first African woman, and first Muslim woman to win Olympic gold and 2016 Olympics coordination commission chair (the first woman ever to chair the Olympics coordination commission)
  • Kay Eliason ('51 ag engr), construction manager, Great Alaska Pipeline
  • John Garang (PhD '81 econ), former vice president of Sudan and former leader of Sudan's People's Liberation Army
  • Roswell Garst (attended, '20 ani husb), established one of the world's leading seed corn companies
  • Thomas R. Harkin ('62 government), U.S. Senator, Iowa, who authored 1990 Americans with Disabilities Act
  • Isaiah Harris ('74 indus admin), former CFO, BellSouth
  • Allen Jacobson ('47 chem engr), retired CEO, 3-M
  • Jerry Junkins ('59 elec engr), former CEO, Texas Instruments
  • Ric Jurgens ('71 indus admin), CEO, Hy-Vee
  • Tom Knudson ('80 journalism), two-time Pulitzer Prize winner
  • Ted Kooser ('62 English and speech), U.S. Poet Laureate (2004-2006) and Pulitzer Prize winner
  • Charles T. Manatt ('58 rural soc), former U.S. Ambassador to Dominican Republic and former chairman Democratic Nat'l Committee
  • Richard McCormick ('61 elec engr), retired CEO, Qwest
  • Conde McCullough ('10 civil engr), noted bridge architect
  • Otto Miller ('30 chem engr), former CEO, Standard Oil
  • James J. Renier (PhD '55 chem), retired CEO, Honeywell
  • Jonathan D. Rich ('77 chem), CEO, Momentive, Inc.
  • Christine Romans ('93 journalism and French), CNN financial reporter
  • Bruce Roth (PhD '81 organic chem), inventor, cholesterol-lowering drug Lipitor
  • Lauren Soth ('32 ag journalism, MS '38 ag econ), Pulitzer-prize winning editorial writer
  • Subra Suresh (MS .79 mech engr), director, U.S. National Science Foundation
  • Sehat Sutardja ('83 elec engr), CEO, Marvell Technology Group
  • Lee Teng-Hui (attended, '53 ag econ), president, Taiwan, 1988-2000
  • Henry A. Wallace ('10 ani husb, MS '26), founder of Pioneer Hi-Brid, U.S. vice president, 1941-1945
  • Henry C. Wallace (1892 ani husb), U.S. Secretary of Agriculture, 1921-1924
  • Thomas Whitney ('61 elec engr, MS '62, PhD '64), inventor, pocket calculator
  • Harley Wilhem (PhD '31 chem), co-inventor, process for large-scale uranium production
  • Thornton "T.A." Wilson ('43 aeronautical engr), former CEO, Boeing Company
  • Elizabeth Degarmo Yetley ('63 comm nutrition, MS '70, PhD '74), lead scientist, U.S. Food and Drug Administration