The Iowa Governor’s STEM Advisory Council

In July of 2011, Governor Terry Branstad signed Executive Order 74 creating the Iowa Governor’s Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) Advisory Council. The STEM Council is Iowa's edu-nomic development initiative to invigorate the PreK-12 talent pipeline toward STEM careers.

Lieutenant Governor Kim Reynolds and Kemin Industries President and CEO Dr. Chris Nelson lead the STEM Council and is made up of leaders in higher education, business, Pre-K through 12 educators, as well as state and local government officials. A total of 47 members comprise the STEM Council from across the state of Iowa, including 17 Executive Committee members, collaborating to boost STEM education and innovation. The STEM Council conceives of STEM-specific programs, STEM events, and STEM resources to Iowans.

Greatness STEMs from the Iowa Governor’s STEM Advisory Council

“These professionals come from a broad spectrum of the state’s education, business and civic sectors and will work together to lead the way toward a strong future for our state in science, technology, engineering and mathematics. This group was created to advise our office on ways to improve STEM education and innovation, and economic development.”
- Lt. Governor Reynolds

Co-chair – Lieutenant Governor Kim Reynolds, State of Iowa, Des Moines, IA
Co-chair – Dr. Chris Nelson, President and CEO of Kemin Industries, Des Moines, IA
Executive Director – Dr. Jeff Weld, Iowa Governor's STEM Advisory Council, Cedar Falls, IA

STEM Council Executive Committee

  • Dr. P. Barry Butler, Executive Vice President and Provost, The University of Iowa, Iowa City, IA (Interim)
  • Ms. Kacia Cain, Science Educator, Central Campus, Indianola, IA
  • Mr. John Carver, Superintendent, Howard-Winneshiek Community Schools, Cresco, IA
  • Dr. Robert Denson, President, Des Moines Area Community College, Ankeny, IA
  • Ms. Deborah Durham, Director, Iowa Economic Development Authority, Des Moines, IA
  • Ms. Kathryn Kunert, Vice President for Business and Community Development, MidAmerican Energy, Des Moines, IA
  • Dr. Steven Leath, President, Iowa State University, Ames, IA
  • Mr. Robert 'Kelly' Ortberg, CEO and President, Rockwell Collins, Cedar Rapids, IA
  • Dr. Mark Putnam, President, Central College, Pella, IA
  • Dr. William Ruud, President, University of Northern Iowa, Cedar Falls, IA
  • Mr. Paul Schickler III, President, DuPont-Pioneer, Ankeny, IA
  • Mr. Gary Scholten, Senior Vice President and Chief Information Officer, Principal Financial Group, Des Moines, IA
  • Ms. Beth Townsend, Director, Iowa Workforce Development, Des Moines, IA
  • Dr. Ryan Wise, Director, Iowa Department of Education, Des Moines, IA
  • Ms. Gail Wortmann, Instructor/Developer, Iowa Learning Online, Bloomfield, IA

STEM Council Members

  • Mrs. Emily Abbas, Chief of Staff, Bankers Trust, Des Moines, IA
  • Mr. Patrick Barnes, Program Director, Global STEM, John Deere Moline Technology Innovation Center, Moline, IL
  • Ms. Janice Bates, Manufacturing Supervisor, Eaton Corporation, Estherville, IA
  • Mr. Robert J. Cramer, Construction Engineer, Cramer and Associates, Inc., Grimes, IA
  • Dr. Jerry Deegan, President, Dowling Catholic High School, Clive, IA
  • Ms. Cindy Dietz, Director, Corporate Communications, Rockwell Collins, Cedar Rapids, IA
  • Ms. Deborah Dunkhase, Executive Director, The Iowa Children’s Museum, Coralville, IA
  • Ms. Mary 'Beth' Hochstedler, Education/Outreach and STEM Director, State Hygienic Lab, The University of Iowa, Iowa City, IA
  • Mr. Joe Hrdlicka, Executive Director, Iowa Biotechnology Association, West Des Moines, IA
  • Ms. Rachel Hurley, Governmental Affairs Manager, Monsanto, Ankeny, IA
  • Mr. Kwizera Imani, Iowa State University (formerly Des Moines North High School), Des Moines, IA
  • Mr. Craig Johnson, Executive Director, Iowa Academy of Science, Cedar Falls, IA
  • Dr. Alissa Jourdan, Director, Research and Development, Kemin Industries, Inc., Des Moines, IA
  • Mr. Jordan Lampe, Director of Communications and Policy, Dwolla, Des Moines, IA
  • Dr. Mark McDermott, Clinical Associate Professor, University of Iowa, Iowa City, IA
  • Ms. Valerie Newhouse, President, Iowa Lakes Community College, Estherville, IA
  • Ms. Laurie Phelan, President and CEO, Iowa Jobs for America's Graduates, Des Moines, IA
  • Ms. Sharon Rosenboom, Instructor of Mathematics, Northwestern College, Orange City, IA
  • Ms. Macenzie Rubin, Research Scientist, Monsanto, Ankeny, IA
  • Ms. Catherine Swoboda, Director of Planning, The World Food Prize Foundation, Des Moines, IA
  • Ms. Tamara Trinder, Nurse Practitioner, Mercy Clinics, West Des Moines, IA
  • Mr. Steven Triplett, Director, STEM Client Partnerships, ACT, Inc., Iowa City, IA
  • Ms. Teri Vos, Corporate Communication, Vermeer, Pella, IA
  • Mr. Brian Waller, President, Technology Association of Iowa, Des Moines, IA
  • Dr. Jonathan Wickert, Senior Vice President and Provost, Iowa State University, Ames, IA
  • Dr. Isa Zimmerman, Consultant, IKZ Advisors, Boston, MA
  • Representative Liz Bennett, State of Iowa House of Representatives (ex-officio)
  • Representative Josh Byrnes, State of Iowa House of Representatives (ex-officio)
  • Senator E. Mark Chelgren, State of Iowa Senate (ex-officio)
  • Senator Brian Schoenjahn, State of Iowa Senate (ex-officio)

To apply to serve on the STEM Council, please visit