Staff Directory

Peter Dorhout

Vice President for Research

Dr. Peter K. Dorhout brings a tremendous depth of experience and an impressive portfolio of professional accomplishments to his role as the Vice President for Research at Iowa State University.

Peter picked up the mantle of leadership for the Iowa State research enterprise when he joined the university in January 2021. In the first year of his tenure, President Wendy Wintersteen selected Peter to lead the team that developed Iowa State’s new strategic plan for 2022 through 2031. Peter is committed to working with faculty, staff and students – graduate and undergraduate – to help Iowa State achieve its aspirations to be:

  • The most student-centric leading research university;
  • The university that cultivates a diverse, equitable and inclusive environment where students, faculty and staff flourish;
  • The university that creates opportunities and forges new frontiers;
  • The trusted partner for proactive and innovative solutions; and
  • The university that fosters lifelong learning.

Prior to coming to Iowa State, Peter served five years as Vice President for Research following four years as dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at Kansas State University. He served as the Interim Provost at Colorado State University-Pueblo (2011), preceded by 20 years at Colorado State University-Fort Collins as Vice Provost for Graduate Studies, Assistant Vice President for Research and Professor of Chemistry.

Among his many professional accomplishments, Peter is a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the American Chemical Society, where he also served as President. He has published more than 120 peer-reviewed journal articles, book chapters and reviews while presenting over 130 national and international invited lectures on his chemistry and related topics, including laboratory safety.

Peter holds a bachelor’s degree in Chemistry from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and a Ph. D. in inorganic chemistry from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He is no stranger to Ames and Iowa State, having completed a postdoctoral assignment with the university and the U.S. Department of Energy Ames Laboratory, serving with Distinguished Professor Emeritus John Corbett.

An Eagle Scout, Peter served as president of the executive board of the Coronado Area Council (Kansas) Boy Scouts of America and currently co-chairs the STEM Quest activities for the 2023 Scout Jamboree. He also serves on the Research Corporation for Science Advancement board of directors and is a life member of the Society for the Advancement of Chicanos/Hispanics and Native Americans in Science (SACNAS).

What can the Iowa State community expect from Peter in his role as VPR?

“I am committed to supporting Iowa State’s world-class researchers and programs, building on the university’s established strengths such as biosciences and engineering, while expanding our capacity in the arts, social sciences, and humanities, and maintaining a strong connection with the Ames Laboratory. Our faculty and students can also count on me to passionately support their entrepreneurial efforts and to help bring their discoveries to the marketplace.”

What is Peter’s favorite Iowa State discovery?

“With so much history at our land-grant university, it’s hard to select just one ‘favorite ISU discovery.’ From our advances in agriculture and the legacy created by George Washington Carver to the first computer, they’ve all contributed to a foundation of excellence that is Iowa State. For me as a radiochemist, my favorite innovation is the purification of uranium and the contributions to the chemical separations processes that benefitted the Manhattan Project.”

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