Howard Gobstein is responsible for university policy efforts and improvements pertaining to research, STEM education and economic development, and initiated SMTI as a key APLU effort. As Executive Vice President of APLU, he has a major role in project coordination and association strategy, as well as working closely with the APLU president and vice-president/chief academic officer to draw on their expertise and respective communities of presidents and provosts. His past positions include Associate Vice President for governmental affairs and Director of Federal Relations at Michigan State University, Senior Policy Analyst in the Office of Science and Technology in the Executive Office of the President, and Vice President and Senior Program Officer at the Association of American Universities (AAU). Gobstein spent the first 11 years of his career designing and leading evaluations of government science programs and policies with the U.S. Government Accountability Office. He holds a master's degree in science, technology, and public policy from George Washington University and a bachelor's in interdisciplinary engineering from Purdue University. He is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). He was named the distinguished alumni of 2010 by the Purdue School of Engineering Education.