Heidi Gansert was appointed Executive Director, External Relations in October 2012. As Executive Director, External Relations, Gansert is charged with working closely with economic development agencies throughout the state, leading the University's Economic Development and Business Relations Task Force, and serving as a catalyst for creating economic development, business and outreach partnerships between the University and the community and the state it serves. On behalf of the University, she serves on the boards of the Economic Development Authority of Western Nevada (EDAWN) and Reno’s newly created Downtown Reno Partnership, a business improvement district formed to make downtown Reno safer, cleaner and friendlier.
Currently, Gansert serves in Nevada’s part-time legislature as a Nevada state senator. She had previously served as Chief of Staff to Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval from January 2011 to September 2012 and as the assemblywoman representing District 25 in the Nevada State Legislature from 2004-2010. Her time in the executive and legislative branches of state government include important roles related to education, economic development, workforce training, energy and business.
Gansert, an engineering graduate of Santa Clara University who holds a master's of business administration degree from the University of Nevada, Reno, was an independent management consultant for medical practices and was a resource planning engineer for Sierra Pacific Power Company in Reno.