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Gov. Reynolds announces new top lawyer working for her administration

Iowa capitol building

DES MOINES – Today, Gov. Kim Reynolds 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 Governor 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 Governor Reynolds. “ I know Molly and Eric will excel in their new roles.”

Lillie Brady will join the Governor’s Office as Agriculture & 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 U.S. 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 & Legislative Liaison

Steven Blankinship – Senior Legal Counsel

Heather Nahas – Communications Director

Nate Ristow – Administrative Rules Coordinator

Patrick Tomka – Senior Tax & Economic Policy Advisor

Jane Dufoe – Education Policy Advisor

Clare Kelly – Health Care Policy Advisor

Laura Book – Workforce & Public Safety Policy Advisor

Lillie Brady – Agriculture & Energy Policy Advisor

Ryan Capps – Senior Advisor

Angela Stuedemann – Deputy Legal Counsel

Megan Hall – Boards & Commissions Director

Kollin Crompton – Deputy Communications Director

Damian Bell – Chief Speechwriter & Communications Advisor

Eric Baker – Director of Strategic Operations & 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

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