Key Branstad staff member leaving

Brenna Bird -- CROPPEDBy The Iowa Statesman


A key component of Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad’s staff has announced she is departing state employment tomorrow. Brenna (Findley) Bird, who has served as the legal counsel for Branstad and Lt. Gov. Kim Reynolds since they took office in 2011, is taking a job in the private sector. She will be replaced by another member of the Branstad-Reynolds staff.

“It has been an honor and a privilege to serve Iowans and work for Governor Branstad and Lt. Governor Reynolds,” Bird said. “I look forward to the opportunities ahead in the private sector and am eager to share my plans in the near future.”

According to a press release this afternoon, Branstad said, “I wish to thank Brenna for her service and counsel over the past four years,” said Branstad. “Brenna has been instrumental as we worked to end burdensome regulations, like the RICE rule, and required jobs impact statements on any new government rule and regulation. I wish Brenna all the best.”

Bird, a native of Dexter, Iowa, earned her bachelor’s degree from Drake University and her law degree from the University of Chicago. She was the Republican nominee for Attorney General in 2010. She is currently an adjunct professor of law at the University of Iowa.

Michael Bousselot -- CROPPED“Brenna has been an integral part of our team and an advocate for cutting government red tape and ensuring that bureaucracy doesn’t prevent job creators from expanding their businesses,” Reynolds said. “Though she will be deeply missed in our office, we wish her well in her future endeavors.”

Bird’s replacement will be Michael Bousselot, who currently serves as a policy advisor in the Governor’s Office. The Davenport native earned a bachelor’s degree in accounting and a master’s degree in accounting and business taxation from the University of Iowa before receiving his law degree from the Drake University Law School.

Bousselot previously worked as an attorney in private practice in his hometown. Before practicing law, he worked as a consultant in Chicago. His first day in his new role with the Governor’s Office will be Monday.

“Michael is a leader in our office,” Branstad said. “Whether it was developing the Iowa Health and Wellness Plan and the historic property tax relief package of 2013, or his constituent service work, Michael has tackled each challenge and task with focus and diligence. I’m confident he will excel in his new role as our office’s legal counsel.”