David Maxwell is the 12th president of Drake University. President Maxwell has served at Drake since May 15, 1999.
David Maxwell is the son of Jimmy Maxwell, a famous jazz player. While in high school, Maxwell went on a trip with his father to the Soviet Union. While there, Maxwell discovered his love of the Russian language and culture. Maxwell went to college at Grinnell College and graduated with a degree in Russian Studies in 1966. He continued his education at Brown University. There, he received his Master's and doctorate degree in Slavic languages. While at Brown University, he was a university fellow and a Fulbright Fellow. In 1991, Brown gave him a Distinguished Alumnus Citation.
After college, Maxwell taught at Tufts University as a professor in Russian Language and Literature from 1971-1989. While at Tufts, he also served as Dean of Undergraduate Studies from 1981-1989. He moved to Whitman College and served as president from 1989-1993. In 1993, Maxwell went to serve as the Director of National Foreign Language Center at Johns Hopkins University until 1999 before moving to Drake.
David Maxwell is married to Madeleine and they have two kids, Justin and Stephen. They are currently living at Drake's President's House and in the summer have a cabin in Maine.