Andrea Nelson has been named interim assistant vice president for county services with Iowa State University Extension and Outreach. She began the position July 1.
“Andrea brings great experience, leadership and collaboration skills to this position,” said John Lawrence, Iowa State’s vice president for extension and outreach. “We value how she is able to take on any role in our organization and quickly get to work.”
ISU Extension and Outreach County Services provides Iowa State University support, expertise and resources for county-based educational extension programs throughout the state.
Iowa’s 99 counties are home to 100 county extension offices (Pottawattamie has two, for the east and west portions of the county). Each of these 100 extension districts is served by an elected, nine-member county extension council. The county services unit works with these elected officials who determine local programming and communicates the needs of Iowans back to the university to help shape research and program priorities.
Nelson is filling the position held by Robert Dodds since 2016. Dodds retired June 30, after a 36-year career with ISU Extension and Outreach.
For the past 11 months Nelson served as interim 4-H youth development state program leader. Deborah Nistler, from University of Florida’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences Extension, recently was hired for the permanent 4-H state leader position.
Nelson also has served in a variety of leadership roles with ISU Extension and Outreach in Polk County and Region 13.
“Andrea has more than 15 years of experience in building working relationships with individuals and groups inside and outside of ISU Extension and Outreach. As a regional director, she has experience with both urban and rural counties and has served on numerous state committees,” Lawrence noted.
“Andrea understands our organization and our commitment to serving Iowans. She is well equipped to lead our county services unit as we move forward,” Lawrence said.