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Today, Gov. Reynolds announced Jacob Nicholson will serve as her new Chief Operating Officer, effective December 1. Jacob has worked for the State of Iowa's Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Management since 2008.  

“I am excited for Jacob to join our team. I’ve worked closely with him over the last several years while he’s led the charge on many of our state's major crisis incidents. He’s proven himself as a strong leader during our state’s most challenging times, and I know his depth of knowledge and experience will make him a great asset to the people of Iowa as my Chief Operating Officer.”  

"I am honored to serve as the Governor’s Chief Operating Officer and put to work my skills and experience to greatly benefit Iowans,” said Nicholson. “Throughout my time at HSEMD, I have worked very closely with all state agencies and will continue to foster those relationships to ensure we are providing Iowans the best level of service they deserve.”  

Prior to joining the Governor’s Office, Jacob served as the Response Division Administrator and Chief of Operations in the State Emergency Operations Center and has responded to over 25 presidentially declared disasters. Jacob led and coordinated the State of Iowa’s response to some of the largest and most complex disasters in Iowa’s history, including the COVID-19 Pandemic, the August 2020 Derecho, and widespread record flooding across the state in 2019. 

Jacob, a native of Slater, Iowa, is a Pat Roberts Intelligence Scholar and graduated with honors from Iowa State University with a bachelor's degree in Political Science.