(Des Moines, IA) Jake Ketzner, a longtime aide and current chief of staff to Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds and Lt. Governor Adam Gregg, announced Friday he will depart the governor’s office on June 8 to pursue opportunities outside state government. Reynolds announced that she has named Ryan Koopmans as chief of staff. Koopmans will assume the role on June 9.
“Jake has been an instrumental advisor and counselor to me since my first day on the campaign in 2010 through last month’s historic session,” Reynolds said. “Jake’s efforts throughout his tenure in the governor’s office helped us pass Future Ready Iowa, water quality, generational tax reform and policies that have pushed Iowa’s unemployment to its lowest level in decades. I want to thank Jake for his incredible service on behalf of Iowans and wish him all the best as he turns his attention toward his family.”
“When assembling my team, Ryan was one of the first people I brought on board,” Gov. Reynolds added. “He was instrumental in advancing the bold policy ideas we proposed and ultimately enacted this past year. Ryan is well-respected and a true talent, and I am excited he will continue serving the people of Iowa in his new role as my chief of staff.”
Ketzner began his time with Gov. Reynolds on the 2010 gubernatorial campaign when she was the lieutenant governor nominee. In 2011, Ketzner took a position as a policy adviser in the governor’s office, overseeing multiple departments.
In 2014, Ketzner managed former Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad and Gov. Reynolds’s reelection campaign. Following the election, Ketzner returned to the governor’s office to serve as the governor’s office legislative liaison where he worked directly with legislators of both parties to pass historic infrastructure investment and the Connect Every Acre broadband initiative.
Gov. Reynolds named Ketzner as chief of staff shortly before taking the oath of office as governor in 2017. As chief of staff, Ketzner oversaw day-to-day operations in the governor’s office and the executive branch. He also worked with Iowa House and Iowa Senate leadership to pass historic legislation in the 2018 legislative session.
“My time in the governor’s office has been incredibly rewarding, and it has been a privilege to serve,” Ketzner said. “It’s been a special honor to work with Gov. Reynolds during this historic transition, but with the session now over, I want to focus my time and energy on my young family. Last month, our family welcomed home a new son. I’m looking forward to spending more time with him, my wife and young daughter while pursuing other opportunities in the private sector.”
Koopmans has served as Gov. Reynolds’s chief policy advisor and senior legal counsel since May 24, 2017. Before that, he was a partner at Nyemaster Goode law firm in Des Moines. After graduating from the University of Iowa College of Law, Koopmans clerked for Judge Steven M. Colloton on the United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit.
Koopmans is a native of Ireton and lives near Van Meter with his wife, Ashley, and their two children (and one on the way).
“I want to thank the governor for trusting me with this important role,” Koopmans said. “We will continue the governor’s bold policy agenda throughout the summer and fall, keeping education, healthcare and the safety of Iowans as the governor’s top priorities. Ultimately, we know the people of Iowa are our bosses, and I will work each day on their behalf.”