Former Des Moines Mayor tapped to head state agency

Former Des Moines Mayor Preston Daniels will head the Department of Human Rights, pending senate confirmation. 


DES MOINES – Today, Governor Chet Culver appointed Preston Daniels, former Mayor of Des Moines, to serve as the Director of the Iowa Department of Human Rights.  Daniels will replace current Director of DHR, Walter Reed, whom the Governor appointed to the Iowa Board of Parole.

“Preston Daniels brings a wealth of experience to the Department of Human Rights,” said Governor Culver. “From his service as Mayor, to his leadership in the Des Moines business community, to his efforts in the field of criminal justice, Former Mayor Daniels’ passion for public service will serve the people of Iowa well.

“It has also been my pleasure to work with Walter Reed during his tenure as DHR Director, and I am grateful for his continued friendship and service as a new member of the state Board of Parole. Walter brings two essential qualities to the Board – a commitment to justice, and an understanding of state government. I couldn’t ask for a more qualified appointee.

“I look forward to working with Preston Daniels as well as continuing to work with Walter Reed in their new roles.”

Preston Daniels, of Des Moines, received his Bachelor of Science Degree in Psychology and his Master of Science Degree in Health Science, both from Drake University before he began his career at Employee and Family Resources (EFR) in Des Moines.

Daniels currently serves as Program Director and Diversity Consultant for the Employee and Family Resource’s Court and Community Relations division, working as an intermediary between the various parties within the criminal justice system.

In addition to working with ERF, Daniels served six years on the Des Moines City council and served as Mayor of Des Moines from 1997-2004.

Walter Reed, Jr., of Des Moines, is the current Director of the Iowa Department of Human Rights. Walter has over 24 years of management and supervisory experience, as well as 26 years of community and civic volunteer experience.
He worked for ten years as Executive Director of the City of Waterloo Commission on Human Rights.

Reed received his Bachelor of Arts Degree in Business Administration from Wartburg College in Waverly, Iowa.  He serves as Chair of the Governor’s Task Force on Race and Detention; Board Member of the Iowa Empowerment Board; Member of the League of Iowa Human Rights Agencies; Member of the National Association of Human Rights Workers; and co-organizer of the Early Childhood Diversity Initiative.

Both appointments are subject to confirmation by the Iowa Senate, and begin on May 1st.

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About O.Kay Henderson

O. Kay Henderson is the news director of Radio Iowa.