THIS IS THE OFFICIAL NEWS RELEASE FROM THE OFFICE OF GOVERNOR KIM REYNOLDS DATED AUGUST 13, 2019.
Gov. Kim Reynolds announced the appointment of Elizabeth Johnson of Altoona to serve as Executive Director of the Iowa Civil Rights Commission. Johnson, currently an administrative law judge at Iowa Workforce Development, begins her new role on Aug. 26, 2019.
“Protecting the civil rights of Iowans is one of the most important functions of state government,” said Gov. Reynolds. “As an administrative law judge and past staff member at the Iowa Civil Rights Commission, Elizabeth Johnson has a reputation for both fairness and efficiency as well as a genuine passion for public service. She’ll serve Iowa well in this important role.”
“I’m excited to return to the Iowa Civil Rights Commission,” Johnson said. “Our primary responsibility is protecting Iowans from discrimination by vigorously enforcing the law and working to prevent discrimination in the first place by ensuring Iowans are educated on the law. I am grateful to Gov. Reynolds for this opportunity.”
Prior to her current role, Johnson served as a Civil Rights Specialist at the Commission and worked as an attorney in private practice and at the Iowa Department of Revenue. She is a former president of the Iowa Association of Administrative Law Judges and currently serves as its treasurer. Johnson has a Juris doctorate from the University of Iowa College of Law and a bachelor’s degree in Art History from Clarke (College) University in Dubuque.
The Iowa Civil Rights Commission is a neutral, fact-finding law enforcement agency charged with effectively enforcing the Iowa Civil Rights Act. ICRC enforces state and federal laws that prohibit discrimination in employment, public accommodations, housing, education, and credit by investigating and litigating civil rights complaints. The Commission also provides conflict resolution services including mediation and conciliation for civil rights matters. In addition to its role as a law enforcement agency, the Commission works to prevent discrimination by providing training and education to the public.
Johnson’s appointment is subject to confirmation by the Senate.
Note from iVoteIowa: Linda Grathwohl, The commission’s interim director left the CRC position July 25, 2019, oddly and without a detail explanation. It has been reported that she might return to a position at Iowa Legal Aid. The prior full-time and permanent CRC executive, Kristin Johnson, served for 3.5 years. She submitted her resignation on January 2, 2018, just as Reynolds was about to start her first full term as Iowa’s governor.