Jerry Mathiasen, Past ICoF Board Chair and Former CEO, Pottawattamie County Community Foundation
As leaders in the world of foundations and philanthropy, we often hear that it is important to be “at the table” regarding major issues or projects. One important way of doing this is to keep public service on boards and commissions in mind. There are many of these appointment opportunities available at the state, county, and city level.
For example, earlier in my career when I was deputy chief of staff to former Governor Branstad, one of my duties was assisting with state appointments to boards and commissions. During my time with him, we made over 1,600 such appointments. There are approximately 100 Senate confirmation appointments made by the governor in March annually, and another 200 non-Senate ones made annually by June 30. If interested, you can research appointments and apply through talentbank.iowa.gov. Law requires gender and political balance, and other factors may apply (e.g., geography, specific profession, etc.).
Also don’t forget the many opportunities at the local government level. The websites of most counties, cities, and school districts have a link regarding appointments to their boards, commissions, committees, and task forces. Just recently, I was appointed by our Board of Supervisors to fill a vacancy on the Pottawattamie County Conservation Board.
One of my favorite quotes is by our famous Iowa native and U.S. President Herbert Hoover, who said: “Public service is a noble profession.” I agree. And it can also be a real opportunity to “be at the table.” If you’d like any input in addition to your research, you may certainly feel free to email me or call me at 402-216-7955.