Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds announced several additional cabinet appointments on Friday afternoon.
“I believe the most successful leaders surround themselves with the best and brightest people. I want to thank those who are continuing to serve my administration as well as welcome several new individuals to the team,” Reynolds said. “I am proud to appoint such dedicated and talented public servants to work on Iowans’ behalf.”
Katie Averill will again serve as superintendent of the Iowa Division of Credit Unions. She was first appointed by Reynolds in June 2017. Previously, Averill was senior vice president of Citizens Community Credit Union in Fort Dodge. She spent 10 years in that role with responsibilities in branch operations, member service, marketing, and business development. Averill is a Certified Credit Union Executive and serves on committees with the National Credit Union Association and National Association of State Chartered Credit Union Supervisors.
“I look forward to continuing our effort to ensure the safety and soundness of credit while sustaining a fair regulatory environment that meets the financial service needs of Iowans. I thank Governor Reynolds for the honor to serve as the Superintendent of the Iowa Credit Union Division again,” said Averill.
Gerd Clabaugh will remain director of the Iowa Department of Public Health (IDPH). Prior to his appointment as the department director, Clabaugh served in various other capacities including director of health policy, deputy director, and interim director prior to his permanent appointment. Clabaugh holds a Master’s degree in Public Administration from Iowa State University and a Bachelor’s degree from Drake University. He also has pursued doctoral studies at the University of Iowa.
“It’s an honor to be re-appointed to serve as IDPH Director. With Governor Reynolds’ continued endorsement, I’m looking forward to advancing our mission of protecting and improving the health of Iowans,” stated Clabaugh.
Geri Huser has been re-appointed as chair of the Iowa Utilities Board. She previously was director of Iowa Title Guaranty and is an attorney who practices in real estate, business, municipal law estate planning. She also served in the Iowa Legislature and on the Altoona City Council for a combined total of 20 years.
“I am honored to be appointed by Governor Reynolds to lead the Iowa Utilities Board,” said Huser. “I look forward to our continued work to ensure that safe, reliable, environmentally friendly and reasonably priced utilities are available to Iowans in all four corners of the state.”
Larry Johnson, Jr. will serve as Iowa’s next director of the Department of Inspection and Appeals effective March 1st, 2019. He previously served as the state’s public defender. Johnson also was deputy legal counsel in the Governor’s Office for four-and-a-half years before serving as legal counsel. He also worked in the private sector at a Des Moines metro law firm practicing administrative law. Johnson has degrees in law from the Creighton University School of Law and management from Purdue University.
“Over the past eight years, it’s been an honor to serve Governor Reynolds and the people of Iowa,” said Johnson. “With the appointment to lead the Department of Inspection and Appeals, I look forward to enhancing service in the important areas of public safety and regulatory compliance.”
Kraig Paulsen has been appointed as head of the Department of Revenue, effective February 25, 2019. Previously, he was director of both Supply Chain Initiatives and Business Analytics Initiatives at Iowa State University’s Ivy College of Business. He also is a past commissioner at the Iowa Department of Transportation and served in the Iowa legislature as Speaker of the House. Paulsen received his bachelor’s degree from Iowa State University, his Master of Business Administration from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, and a law degree from the University of Iowa. Kraig will be replacing Adam Humes who has decided to pursue other opportunities.
“It’s an honor to join Governor Reynolds’ administration,” said Paulsen. “In my new role, I look forward to working with the high-quality professionals within the Department to ensure the highest levels of accountability and transparency to Iowa taxpayers.”
Janet Phipps will continue to serve as the head of Department of Administrative Services. Previously, she served as director of the Iowa Department of General Services and as director of the Michigan Department of Management and Budget. She also spent a year at Harvard University on a National Security Fellowship with the Department of the Army. Phipps is a retired Brigadier General with the Iowa National Guard. She earned her Juris Doctorate from the Drake Law School.
“It’s an honor to continue to serve the state of Iowa as the head of the Department of Administrative Services,” said Phipps. “I appreciate Governor Reynolds’ and Lieutenant Governor Gregg’s confidence in me.”
Rod Roberts will serve as the next labor commissioner. He previously served as the director of the Iowa Department of Inspections and Appeals for eight years. Roberts also served in the Iowa House of Representatives for 10 years. A native Iowan, he was born in Waverly and raised in Zearing. Roberts currently resides in Carroll. Roberts will be replacing current labor commissioner Michael Mauro who is retiring.
“It’s an honor to be named Iowa’s labor commissioner and I appreciate Governor Reynolds’ confidence in my abilities,” said Roberts. “In this new role, my focus will be on ensuring Iowans are able to work in safe and healthy environments.”
Dave Roederer will continue to serve as director of the Department of Management. Previously, Roederer has been a leader with the Governor’s Office in multiple roles ranging from chief of staff to legislative liaison. He also launched his own successful consulting firm within the private sector.
“I look forward to my continued public service to Iowans by leading the Department of Management,” said Roederer. “It’s extremely fulfilling to lead such a team of dedicated individuals who work long hours and play a critical role in ensuring taxpayer dollars are spent with accountability and the utmost transparency.”
Beth Townsend will continue to serve as the director of Iowa Workforce Development. Beth Townsend is a graduate of Kearney State College and the University of Nebraska Law School. She is a member of the Nebraska and Iowa State Bar. Prior to being named of the Iowa Workforce Development, she was director of the Iowa Civil Rights Commission. Townsend also established a law firm which specialized in the areas of civil rights and employment law. She also served as a member of the Judge Advocate General in the United States Air Force. Townsend retired from the Air Force Reserve in August 2010 as a Lieutenant Colonel after 21 years of active and reserve duty.
“I am humbled and honored to continue to serve alongside my fellow cabinet members as we focus on creating, empowering and sustaining the most skilled workforce in the nation,” said Townsend. “Our agency efforts will continue to power Iowa’s possibilities well into the future and those successes will serve as beacons of prosperity for Iowa workers and businesses and as well as examples of national best practices.”
Nick Wagner has been re-appointed as a board member on the Iowa Utilities Board. He is currently president of the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners (NARUC), treasurer of the National Council on Electric Policy, and an advisory council member for both the Critical Consumer Issues Forum and New Mexico State University Center for Public Utilities. He previously held several leadership positions with the Mid-America Regulatory Conference (MARC) and served in the Iowa House of Representatives and on the Marion City Council.
“I am humbled to continue to serve as a board member on the Iowa Utilities Board, where we strive every day to be solution-oriented and help meet Iowans’ needs when it comes to their utilities,” said Wagner. “It’s an honor to serve Iowans as part of Governor Reynolds’ Administration.”
Jeff Wright will serve as the next state’s public defender beginning on March 1, 2019. He was appointed as chair of the Iowa Board of Parole in January 2018. He graduated from Morningside College in 2000 with a degree in International Affairs, before attending Drake University Law School. Wright was admitted to the Iowa Bar in 2006 and later founded the Carr & Wright Law Office. He practiced primarily in the areas of Criminal, Juvenile and Family Law until his appointment as chair of the Board of Parole. He is also actively involved in the community, volunteering for the Ankeny Chamber of Commerce, Little League Baseball, and serving on multiple volunteer committees benefiting youth and education.
“It is an honor to serve our state in this new role,” said Wright. “I look forward to leading and executing the responsibilities of this vital office as we diligently work each day to ensure Iowans have equal and legal representation.”