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