Iowa Native • Internationally-acclaimed Bass Baritone
International Speaker • Author • Consultant • Social Justice Advocate
Iowa Native • University of Iowa Wrestling Head Coach • Olympic Wrestling Medalist • World Champion
University of Iowa Wrestling Head Coach • Olympic Wrestling Medalist • World Champion
Director Debi Durham
Debi Durham is a longtime economic and community development professional who serves as executive director of the Iowa Economic Development Authority (IEDA) and the Iowa Finance Authority (IFA). Durham was named to the position by Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds in January 2019. Durham was first appointed to lead IEDA in 2011 and has turned the agency into a successful public-private partnership, landed billion-dollar economic development projects for Iowa and worked tirelessly to expand trade and investment opportunities for the state. She was appointed to lead IFA in 2019, when Governor Reynolds recognized an opportunity to further bolster Iowa's communities and economy by bringing together IFA and IEDA. Durham prides herself on building coalitions, supporting new ventures and strengthening the state’s industries and communities.
Prior to joining IEDA/IFA, Durham served as president of the Siouxland Chamber of Commerce. Her several accolades include being recognized as one of the 'Most Influential Business Leaders' in the 2020 and 2019 Des Moines Business Record Book of Lists and receiving the Technology Association of Iowa's 'Legislative Advocacy Leader' award in 2017. Durham also was recognized by the Business Record as a 'Woman of Influence' in 2016, and she received the Christian Petersen Design Award from Iowa State University’s College of Design in 2015. Durham holds a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration, Marketing and Management from Missouri Southern State University.
Director Beth Townsend
Director Beth Townsend has general supervision over the various services Iowa Workforce Development provides to Iowans. The Director prepares, administers, and controls the budget of the agency and its divisions along with Rod Roberts, Commissioner of the Division of Labor and Joseph S. Cortese, II, Commissioner of the Division of Workers' Compensation.
Director Townsend has been in her current position since 2015 when she was first appointed by Governor Branstad and unanimously confirmed by the Iowa Senate on March 24, 2015. Director Townsend was reappointed by Governor Reynolds in January, 2019, and again confirmed by the Iowa Senate. Director Townsend previously served as the Director of the Iowa Civil Rights Commission. Director Townsend served in the Air Force Reserve and retired as a Lieutenant Colonel after 21 years of active and reserve duty.