David Tarver currently serves as Senior Counselor to the Provost for Innovation and Entrepreneurship at Wayne State University. He is also founder and board president of the Urban Entrepreneurship Initiative. David is a highly successful technology business executive with an incredible entrepreneurial journey and amazing success in corporate R&D, technology business startup, and social entrepreneurship. He began his professional career as a Member of Technical Staff and Group Supervisor at the legendary AT&T Bell Laboratories. In 1983, David launched Telecom Analysis Systems, Inc., a high-tech telecommunications instrumentation business. He sold that company twelve years later for $30 million and then, working as Group President for the buyer, built a telecommunications business with a market value in excess of $2 billion.
David left the corporate sector in 1999 with a hunger for community service. In 2001, he founded the Red Bank Education and Development Initiative, a community-based not-for-profit organization that catalyzed dramatic improvements in academic performance and opportunities for children in Red Bank, New Jersey. David has served on numerous civic and nonprofit boards—including the Board of Education in Red Bank, New Jersey; the National Advisory Committee for the University of Michigan (U-M) College of Engineering; the National Commission on NAEP 12th Grade Assessment and Reporting; the U-M Alumni Association board of directors and several other civic and not-for-profit organization boards. David also endowed the Fred and Louise Tarver Scholarship Fund at the University of Michigan, which provides a full four-year tuition scholarship to an incoming engineering student.
David was recently named by Michigan Governor Rick Snyder to serve on the Flint Receivership Transition Advisory Board (RTAB).
David holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees in electrical engineering from the University of Michigan. He has served as a lecturer in the U-M College of Engineering – Center for Entrepreneurship since 2012, and during the 2015-2016 academic year designed and taught a new course entitled “Urban Entrepreneurship.” In 2012, he published the book “Proving Ground: A Memoir,” which details his entrepreneurial journey from childhood dream to international success.