DES MOINES, IOWA (May 26, 2023) — Governor Kim Reynolds has announced new staff joining her administration.
Steve Blankinship will serve as Senior Legal Counsel following the departure of Michael Boal, who has served in that role since 2020. Blankinship joins the Governor’s Office after serving as a district court judge in the Twelfth Judicial District of New Mexico and Senior Counsel to former New Mexico Governor Susana Martinez. Boal will return to private legal practice.
“I appreciate Michael’s dedication to the state of Iowa and common-sense philosophy towards the law and public policy,” said Gov Reynolds. “I am confident Michael will continue to make an impact on the state of Iowa and I look forward to welcoming Steve to our team.”
Molly Severn will serve as Deputy Chief of Staff following the departure of Stephanie Groen, who served as Deputy Chief of Staff since 2021 and previously served as Director of the Office for State-Federal Relations. Severn will also continue to serve as Legislative Liaison for the Governor’s Office. Groen joined the Republican Governors Public Policy Committee (RGPPC) as Policy Director. With Groen’s departure, Eric Baker will now serve as Director of Federal-State Relations while also continuing to serve as Director of Strategic Operations.
“Stephanie’s years long commitment to serving the people of Iowa is unmatched and RGPPC is lucky to have her at the helm,” said Gov Reynolds. “I know Molly and Eric will excel in their new roles.”
Lillie Brady will join the Governor’s Office as Agriculture and Energy Policy Advisor effective June 9, 2023. Previously, she served as a Senior Associate at Cornerstone Government Affairs, Government Affairs Associate at Corteva Agriscience, as well as several positions at the US Department of Agriculture.
A complete list of Governor’s Office staff is listed below:
Taryn Frideres — Chief of Staff
Jacob Nicholson — Chief Operating Officer
Molly Severn — Deputy Chief of Staff and Legislative Liaison
Steven Blankinship — Senior Legal Counsel
Heather Nahas — Communications Director
Nate Ristow — Administrative Rules Coordinator
Patrick Tomka — Senior Tax and Economic Policy Advisor
Jane Dufoe — Education Policy Advisor
Clare Kelly — Health Care Policy Advisor
Laura Book — Workforce and Public Safety Policy Advisor
Lillie Brady — Agriculture and Energy Policy Advisor
Ryan Capps — Senior Advisor
Angela Stuedemann — Deputy Legal Counsel
Megan Hall — Boards and Commissions Director
Kollin Crompton — Deputy Communications Director
Damian Bell — Chief Speechwriter and Communications Advisor
Eric Baker — Director of Strategic Operations and Director of the Office for State-Federal Relations
Alex Byrnes — Public Affairs Advisor
Morgan Fritz — Special Assistant to the Lieutenant Governor
Annie Hayes — Executive Assistant to the Governor
Anna Hartzog — Constituent Services Director
Townsand Ayers — Constituent Services Liaison