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Danny Twilley, Ph.D.

Assistant Vice President of Economic, Community and Asset Development

Danny Twilley Profile

Department: Smith Outdoor Economic Development Collaborative


Dr. Danny Twilley is the Assistant Vice President of Economic, Community and Asset Development for the Brad and Alys Smith Outdoor Economic Development Collaborative. By utilizing West Virginia University’s intellectual and social capital, Danny focuses on growing the state’s outdoor economy to make West Virginia a more desirable place to live, work and play by leveraging the state’s expansive outdoor recreation assets. To do so, he leads initiatives that focus on talent attraction and retention, outdoor community development, outdoor recreation asset development, business development, workforce development and research to tell the story of outdoor recreation in the state. He approaches this work by engaging with communities and facilitating academic collaborations across the University, state and local governments, outdoor industry, and related groups.

Dr. Twilley received his B.S. from Salisbury University, and his M.S. and Ph.D. from Ohio University. Prior to joining WVU, he spent 13 years as a faculty member in Ohio University’s Recreation and Sport Pedagogy Department where he served as a Professor of Instruction and Assistant Professor in the Recreation, Parks, and Leisure Studies Program. He was the Director of the University’s Ecotourism Certificate, Interim Program Coordinator, Coordinator of the Outdoor Skill Development Program and led education abroad programs for 7 years to places such as Costa Rica and the Balkans. In addition to his academic career, he has worked for organizations such as Outward Bound, Project Adventure, Sun River Recreation Department and the Appalachian Mountain Club. It is safe to say that Danny has wasted no time on using his knowledge to improve the world around him through outdoor recreation and community.

Danny recharges his vision by connecting with nature through whitewater kayaking, mountain biking, climbing, and now that he’s back in West Virginia, skiing!