September 19, 2021

Reynolds administration has announced staff changes 

DES MOINES – This month the Reynolds Administration has announced staff changes.

Below is a list of new staff and their new role:

Stephanie Groen, will now serve as the Governor’s Deputy Chief of Staff. She assumes the role following the departure of Paige Thorson. Stephanie was previously the governor’s federal liaison.

Alex Murphy, will serve as the Governor’s new Communications Director. He assumes the role following the departure of Pat Garrett, who is leaving to join Governor Reynolds’ Political Team. Alex previously served as the Communications Director for the Iowa DNR.

Molly Severn, will now serve as the Governor’s Legislative Liaison and Education Policy Advisor, she assumes that role following the departure of Logan Shine.

Meaghan O’Brien, will now serve as the Governor’s Director of State-Federal Relations, based out of Washington D.C. She assumes that role following the vacancy created by Stephanie Groen. She previously served on the Governor’s policy team.

Patrick Tomka, will now serve as the Governor’s Senior Tax and Economic Policy Advisor, he assumes that role following the departure of Joel Anderson, who is now serving as the Interim Director of the Department of Management.  He previously served as the Senior Associate Athletics Director for Drake University.

Clare Kelly, will serve as the Governor’s Health Care Policy Advisor, she assumes that role following the departure of Liz Matney, who is now serving as the Governor’s Medicaid Director. She previously served as Executive Vice President and CEO of the Iowa Medical Society.

“Over the last two years, we’ve faced a pandemic, a derecho, civil unrest, and more. Being surrounded by an exceptional team has been more important than ever. I want to thank Paige and Pat for everything they’ve done. Paige has done an outstanding job as Deputy Chief of Staff and head of policy. We know that she has an incredible career ahead of her,” said Gov. Reynolds. “Pat played an important role on my communications team and I know he’ll excel in his future roles.”

“I am proud to lead a team that has continually put Iowans at the center of our decisions. That’s how we will ensure Iowa continues to be the best place to live, work, and raise a family, " said Gov. Reynolds.

Current Reynolds Staff:

Sara Craig Gongol, Chief of Staff

Taryn Frideres, Chief Operating Officer

Stephanie Groen, Deputy Chief of Staff

Heather Nahas, Public Relations Manager

Alex Murphy, Communications Director

Damian Bell, Communications Advisor and Chief Speechwriter

Michael Boal, Senior Legal Counsel

Nick Davis, Deputy Legal Counsel

Megan Hall, Director of Boards and Commissions and Legal Assistant

Molly Foley, Legislative Liaison and Education Policy Advisor

Nate Ristow, Workforce Policy Advisor

Jake Swanson, Agriculture Policy Advisor

Patrick Tomka, Senior Tax and Economic Policy Advisor

Clare Kelly, Health Policy Advisor

Meaghan O’Brien, Director of State-Federal Relations

Anna Hartzog, Constituent Services Director and Intern Coordinator

William de Blois, Constituent Services Liaison and Policy Assistant

Ryan Capps, Executive Scheduler

Alex Brynes, Executive Assistant to the Governor

John Hirl, Executive Assistant to the Lt. Governor