Sophia Magill will guide strategic plan's annual process

Sophia Magill in red dress head shot

Sophia Magill

Sophia Magill has been named senior advisor to the president and will lead the implementation of strategic initiatives while continuing to manage federal relations. The change is effective Monday, Sept. 12.

Magill has served as director of federal relations since 2015. In her expanded role, she will continue to report directly to President Wendy Wintersteen. Magill's team will be adding two staff members, one to work on federal relations and the other on strategic initiatives.

"We are fortunate to have such an outstanding leader for areas of critical importance to Iowa State's future," Wintersteen said. "Sophia will continue to advance our federal priorities and represent us at the federal level, and now her leadership will help us progress towards the overall strategic goals we've set for the university."

As senior advisor to the president, Magill will lead efforts to advance goals outlined in the university's new 2022-31 strategic plan and other strategic opportunities.

She will be responsible for developing and executing the proposals process laid out in the strategic plan. Annually, the process will seek faculty and staff ideas for projects linked to one or more of the plan's goals. Magill will lead the review of proposals and develop priority recommendations. She will advise the president and senior leaders on funding for the most promising and strategic projects -- ones that move the university closer to achieving its goals.

Magill will ensure faculty and staff leaders provide timely updates and reports on the progress of funded projects. She will track successes and collaborate with the office of strategic relations and communications on capturing success stories of funded projects and disseminating information on strategic plan progress and other strategic projects across campus.

Magill has served for nine years in federal relations in the office of the president. In those responsibilities, she advocates on behalf of the university's federal priorities by promoting research, higher education and science activities and leveraging campus expertise to increase federal support and expand awareness of the university in Washington, D.C.

Magill is engaged in the higher education community, having served as chair of the Council on Governmental Affairs (CGA) at the Association of Public and Land- Grant Universities (APLU). She currently serves as CGA liaison to the Council of Academic Affairs. Before joining the university, she served at the U.S. Agency for International Development.

A native Iowan, Magill earned a bachelor's degree in political science from Iowa State, where she served as student government president, and her master's degree in public administration from the University of Illinois, Chicago.