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Ike Umunnah, J.D., Ed.M.

Lecturer, Construction Administration; Director, Office of Public Affairs and Communications, U.S. Department of Commerce, Economic Development Administration

Ike Umunnah (Oo-mah-nuh) is a nonlinear thinking, multi-sector senior leader with global Fortune 500, military, political, government, and entrepreneurial experience. His professional interests lie in leadership, strategic communications, international partnerships, public-private investment, and reputation management. 

He is a Biden-Harris appointee to the senior leadership team of the Economic Development Administration (EDA), serving as the Director of the Office of Public Affairs and Communications. The agency leads the federal economic development agenda by promoting innovation and competitiveness, preparing America for success in the global economy. 

Before government service, Ike led global public affairs at Rockwell Automation (NYSE: ROK), the world's largest company focused on industrial automation and information technology. Ike’s portfolio included: corporate communications, CEO communications, corporate social responsibility reporting, and government affairs. Additionally, from 2013-2016 Ike led global strategic partnerships for Target (NYSE: TGT) in enterprise risk management. In that role, Ike led international security and corporate social responsibility engagement with international and U.S. stakeholders to support global and domestic business operations, mitigate global risk, and enhance corporate reputation. 

Ike began his career successfully managing political campaigns and a start-up.

Additionally, Ike followed in his grandfather's footsteps, enlisting in the U.S. Army National Guard, serving in public affairs, and later commissioned as an officer. 

U.S. Presidents H.W. Bush, Clinton, and G.W. Bush selected Ike as a Presidential Leadership Scholar (Cohort Two) -- a nonpartisan, U.S. fellowship for leaders who share a commitment to help solve society's most significant challenges. Ike serves on the boards of Goodwill Industries (SEWMC); Secretary of the board of Goodwill Industries of Metropolitan Chicago; The Milwaukee Academy of Science; past member of the Harvard Graduate School of Education Deans Advisory Board on Equity and Diversity; the Saint Francis Hospital Foundation board of Directors, Leadership Twin Cities, and Fellow of the Executive Leadership Council.

 He is a member of the National Political Science Honor Society and the International Legal Honor Society.


  • Ed.M., Education, Harvard University
  • J.D., University of North Dakota
  • B.A., Political Science, Morehouse College