Former campaign consultant Sara Craig Gongol will replace outgoing Ryan Koopmans as Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds’ chief of staff, the Governor’s office announced.

Koopmans said he would leave his position on Friday to pursue opportunities outside of state government. 

“I am grateful for Ryan’s service and am glad he used his passion for Iowa to advance our state forward,” Reynolds said. “Ryan provided steadfast advice while serving as my trusted advisor. I want to thank Ryan for his service on behalf of the people of Iowa and wish him well as he shares his incredible talents, energy and work ethic with others in the private sector.”

Koopmans joined the governor’s office as senior legal counsel and chief policy advisor in May 2017, at the beginning of Gov. Reynolds’ administration. Earlier this year, he was promoted to chief of staff. His roles within the governor’s office were instrumental in advancing the governor’s signature achievements, including tax reform and Future Ready Iowa. Before serving in the governor’s office, Koopmans was partner at the Nyemaster Goode law firm in Des Moines.

“I am thankful the governor gave me a meaningful opportunity to serve Iowans in this capacity,” Koopmans said. “In just 18 months, her transformative leadership on workforce, education and family budgets has improved Iowa’s economy and changed lives for the better. I look forward to seeing Iowa’s further progress in the coming years.”

Craig Gongol will assume the role on Saturday, December 15, 2018.

“Sara is a key member of my team, working with me since 2014,” Reynolds said. “She played an important role in the campaign, helping me earn the support of Iowans who gave me the chance to continue serving as governor. As I begin my first full term, I am excited to bring together a new team to help implement my vision for building a stronger, better Iowa. Sara is uniquely prepared to help me build that team and get to work for the people of Iowa.”

“It is an honor to help lead Gov. Reynolds’ administration, and I am humbled to be selected for this important role,” Craig Gongol stated. “The governor’s strong leadership has put Iowa on the right path, and I am eager to help her continue to move Iowa forward.”

Craig Gongol served as the general consultant to Gov. Reynolds’ campaign. Prior to that, she played an instrumental role in Iowa politics during the 2016 and 2014 campaigns. In 2012, she managed Mitt Romney’s Iowa caucus effort and is currently president and founder of Framework Marketing Group. Craig Gongol is an Iowa native and lives in West Des Moines with her husband, Brian, and their two children.

Photo Credit: Iowa Public Radio Images (CC-By-ND 2.0)

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