Dan Cotton, Executive Director of eXtension, has announced his resignation, effective December 31, 2013. Cotton will rejoin the University of Nebraska –Lincoln’s Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resources as Director of Integrated Technologies for Nebraska Cooperative Extension and Coordinator of Online Education with the College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources on January 1, 2014.
Cotton was hired as the first Executive Director for the eXtension Initiative in September 2004. He has led the eXtension team in the formation of 75+ communities of practice, development of several national CES applications including Ask an Expert and Learn, incorporation of numerous USDA/NIFA grants into eXtension programming, and a successful Department of Defense/USDA/NIFA partnership creating the Military Families Learning Network.
Under Cotton’s leadership eXtension has created new levels of collaboration between Cooperative Extension and Land Grant University employees, connecting more than 17,000 Cooperative Extension workers and partners nationwide through content development, expertise sharing, and professional development efforts. Successful annual eXtension conferences presented both face-to-face and virtually have brought outstanding expertise to CES nationwide.
Cotton received an eXtension Champion Award in 2009 and was part of the eXtension team that received a USDA Secretary’s Honor Award in 2009.
Prior to his role in eXtension, Cotton served as the director of UNL’s Communications and Information Technology unit from 1996 to 2004. He came to UNL from the University of Illinois where he served as director of Extension Information Technology from 1989 to 1996. Cotton began his career in Cooperative Extension at the University of Missouri in 1984.
The eXtension Governing Committee will begin a search for a new Executive Director in September 2013.