Branstad appoints new director of Iowa Civil Rights Commission

Kristin JohnsonFrom Press Release


Iowa Gov. Terry E. Branstad today announced that he has appointed Kristin Johnson as the executive director of the Iowa Civil Rights Commission. Johnson replaces former executive director Beth Townsend who is now the director of Iowa Workforce Development. Don Grove had been serving as acting executive director while a permanent director search was conducted.

The Iowa Civil Rights Commission has a mission of enforcing civil rights though compliance, arbitration, support and education leading to safer, more inclusive communities.

“I am pleased today to announce that I have appointed Kristin Johnson to lead the Iowa Civil Rights Commission,” said Branstad. “Kristin’s current role as a Civil Rights Specialist at the Commission, as well as her experience as an arbitrator and mediator will be an asset in her new capacity. I am confident she will continue to advance the Commission’s reputation of fairness and efficiency.”

“I was impressed by Kristin’s experience at the Commission and her knowledge of the issues the department grapples as they hear cases,” said Lt. Gov. Kim Reynolds. “As executive director, Kristin will have the important task of enforcing civil rights compliance and ensuring equality for all. We are confident in her ability to lead the Commission.”

Johnson presently serves as a Civil Rights Specialist at the Iowa Civil Rights Commission, where she has worked since 2012. Previously, she has been an arbitrator and mediator for the Iowa Public Employment Relations Board and the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service, a consultant for the Iowa Association of School Boards, an attorney in private practice and a labor relations attorney for the Iowa Department of Personnel.

Johnson earned both her bachelor’s degree and law degree from the University of Iowa. She and her husband Eric resides in Clive, Iowa. They have three sons.

Johnson’s appointment is effective immediately and is subject to Iowa Senate confirmation.