Longtime business leader named to strategic relations post

By Staff


Frances Draper has been named associate vice chancellor for strategic relations, effective Feb. 14. University of Colorado Boulder Chancellor Philip P. DiStefano appointed her to the post; she currently serves as executive director of the Boulder Economic Council, an arm of the Boulder Chamber of Commerce.

"I am delighted that one of our region's most visionary community leaders will be joining the University of Colorado Boulder," DiStefano said. "Frances brings a strong background in relationship management, communications and government affairs that will extend and leverage CU-Boulder's strategic relationships, further align them with the Flagship 2030 Strategic Plan, and do so while serving our students, alumni and key communities."

As associate vice chancellor for strategic relations, Draper will manage university communications and government, community and business relations for the CU flagship campus. She will serve on the chancellor's cabinet and provide strategic advice to the campus's leadership on communications and external relations, and also will unite the efforts involved in further implementing CU-Boulder's Flagship 2030 Strategic Plan.

"I am delighted to be given this unique opportunity to join CU-Boulder's administrative team," Draper said. "CU faces a host of challenges: securing adequate funding, building and maintaining vital internal and external relationships, publicly leveraging the excellent work of the faculty and serving new generations of students. These challenges require highly innovative thinking, focused creativity and careful strategic communication. I look forward to helping the very capable CU-Boulder administrative team achieve these goals."

Draper has served as executive director of the Boulder Economic Council since 2006. Prior to that, she worked for General Electric in Boulder and Westminster, as a vice president in the business development (2004-05) and risk management (1998-2003) divisions, as well as in treasury and financial services (1995-97). She worked for 12 years (1982-94) for First Interstate Bank in Denver in marketing, strategic planning and financial analyst positions. From 1978-80, she served on the legislative staff of Harrison Schmidt, the junior U.S. senator from New Mexico.

Draper holds a bachelor's degree in political science from Stanford University (1978) and an MBA (1982) with an emphasis in marketing from the University of California, Berkeley. She has served on numerous local boards, including Boulder Rotary, the Boulder Innovation Center, CO-LABS Inc. (where she served as interim executive director in 2006-07), and the Deming Center for Entrepreneurship Affiliate Board within the Leeds School of Business at CU-Boulder.

As associate vice chancellor for strategic relations, Draper succeeds Michael L. Warden, who left the post in December to serve in a similar capacity at the Georgia Institute of Technology.