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Gov. Kim Reynolds announced five additions to her staff today after being sworn in as Iowa’s 43rd governor.


“From the beginning, I’ve promised Iowans a seamless transition,” Reynolds said. “The professionals I’ve hired in the governor’s office are at the top of their games and will complement the expertise of current staff members. I am pleased that such a number of incredibly talented individuals have answered the call to serve our state this way.”


Jake Ketzner rejoins the governor’s office as chief of staff. He served as the Branstad-Reynolds campaign’s organization director in 2010, then transitioned to policy advisor in their administration.Ketzner managed the governor and lieutenant governor’s re-election campaign in 2014 before moving to legislative liaison. Most recently, he worked in the private sector. Ketzner, 31, moved to Clive at a young age. He has a political science degree from the University of Iowa. A photo ofKetzner can be found here.


Tim Albrecht rejoins the governor’s office as deputy chief of staff and senior advisor. He served as the Branstad-Reynolds communications director from 2009-13. Last year, he launched Albrecht Public Relations and co-founded bipartisan polling firm RABA Research. Albrecht, 39, is an Ida Grove native. He has a public relations degree from the University of Northern Iowa. A photo of Albrecht can be found here


Ryan Koopmans (pronounced: KOPE-mens) joins the governor’s office as chief policy advisor and senior legal counsel. Most recently, he was a shareholder at Nyemaster Goode P.C., Iowa’s largest law firm. There, he argued several cases before the Iowa Supreme Court. Koopmans, 35, is an Ireton native. He has a law degree from the University of Iowa College of Law and an economics degree from the University of Northern Iowa. A photo of Koopmans can be found here.


Catherine Huggins rejoins the governor’s office as chief advisor. She will also lead special projects. Huggins served as Lt. Gov. Reynolds’ chief advisor from 2013-15. Most recently, she was executive vice president of Huggins Consulting Group and a lecturer at Iowa State University. Huggins, 54, has called Iowa home for nearly 30 years. She has a Master of Business Administration from the University of Iowa and a journalism degree from Drake University. A photo of Huggins can be found here.


Brenna Smith joins the governor’s office as press secretary. Most recently, she was a news producer at KCCI-TV in Des Moines where she won an Upper Midwest Emmy for evening newscast in 2015 and was nominated in the same category in 2016 for her work on KCCI 8 News at Five. Smith, 28, is an Eagle Grove native. She has a public relations journalism degree from Bob Jones University in Greenville, S.C. A photo of Smith can be found here


These members of the governor’s staff will assume new roles:

  • Stephanie Groen is now state-federal relations director in Washington, D.C.
  • Margaret Hough is now director of boards and commissions.
  • Colin Smith is now legal counsel.


The remaining members of the governor’s staff will continue in their current roles:

  • Christina Bettini continues as public liaison.
  • Linda Fandel continues as policy advisor.
  • Nathan Hohnstein continues as deputy director of boards and commissions.
  • Leo Hough continues as office manager.
  • Austin Jacobs continues as scheduler and communications advisor.
  • Kayla Lyon continues as policy advisor.
  • Josh Mechaelsen continues as administrative assistant.
  • Cord Overton continues as policy advisor.
  • Nic Pottebaum continues as policy advisor.
  • Ted Stopulos continues as legislative liaison.