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Meet Brad Anderson, AARP Iowa's New State Director


Brad Anderson of Des Moines has been named the new AARP Iowa State Director. He will oversee operations of the Iowa state office, which includes a staff of four full-time employees and a 14-person volunteer advisory Executive Council that works on behalf of all Iowans 50+, including the more than 370,000 AARP members statewide. He succeeds Kent Sovern, who is retiring after seven years as State Director.

Anderson brings more than 16 years of experience managing teams and organizations ranging in size from three to over 400, including extensive volunteer networks, and has managed operating budgets spanning $400,000 to $18 million. Over this time, he has assisted corporations and non-profit organizations with management and public relations strategies to grow their brand and strengthen their bottom line and has managed local, national and international campaigns.

Anderson has most recently served as Executive Director of Above + Beyond Cancer, an Iowa-based cancer survivorship non-profit, since February 2015, and Of Counsel to the multi-client firm Precisions Strategies since 2016.

“Brad has a tremendous track record leading teams and organizations in Iowa and across the country,” said AARP Iowa State President Chuck Betts. “With his vision and true commitment to addressing the priorities of Iowans 50+ and their families, we have great expectations for future success with such an accomplished leader directing our statewide efforts.”

As a partner with Link Strategies from 2004 to 2015, Anderson managed numerous campaigns, from local ballot initiatives to statewide and national races. He led a bi-partisan statewide coalition for the Iowa’s Water & Land Legacy campaign that resulted in development of the Natural Resources & Outdoor Recreation Trust Fund in 2010; was instrumental in the development and messaging of the 2011 Johnston Public Safety Building bond referendum, which passed with 82 percent of the vote; and in 2015, formed Iowa Pays the Price, a bipartisan organization aimed at increasing transparency in how presidential campaigns are funded.

“I’m thrilled to be joining the talented team at the AARP Iowa state office as the new state director,” said Anderson. “Few organizations combine member value and community impact in the way AARP does in Iowa and across the nation, and I am truly honored to be a part of this impressive organization. I look forward to working with staff and volunteers to continue to find opportunities and partnerships aimed at empowering Iowa’s 50+ community and enhancing their quality of life."

Anderson served the Obama for President Campaign in 2008 as Iowa Communications Director and Iowa State Director in 2012. He was the Democratic nominee for Iowa Secretary of State in the 2014 election. In 2016, he co-founded RABA (Red America Blue America) Research, a bipartisan polling firm aimed at providing fair, accurate, non-biased polling to political, corporate and non-profit clients.

Anderson holds a bachelor of arts in political science from North Carolina State University in Raleigh. N.C. He lives in Des Moines with his wife Lisa, two children and dog Gracie Caramel. His first day as AARP Iowa State Director will be June 4.

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