Iowa Gov. Reynolds announces new Chief of Staff

(ABC 6 News) – Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds announced Tuesday she has chosen a former Trump administration State Department official to serve as her chief of staff.

Taryn Frideres, a native of Denison, Iowa, and the current chief operating officer, will take on the new role beginning Dec. 1 and replace Sara Craig Gongol who is departing the role for another opportunity.

“Taryn has played a central role in my administration over the last two years as chief operating officer, and I’m thrilled for her to become my chief of staff,” said Gov. Reynolds. “Her experience at the federal level and her proven leadership skills will be a great asset as I begin my second full term.”

“The chief of staff position is incredibly demanding in normal times, but when you add a worldwide pandemic, a derecho, floods, and more on top of it, it is all consuming. Sara devoted herself to this state and helped me usher in a bold agenda that will pay dividends for years to come,” Gov. Reynolds said. “I’m so grateful for her leadership and am excited for what’s to come.” 

Before becoming chief operating officer, Frideres served as a trusted senior policy advisor for more than a decade as a private sector lawyer, U.S. Senate staffer, and U.S. State Department official.

Immediately before joining the Governor’s Office in January 2021, Frideres served under President Donald Trump as Deputy to the U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, leading the Ambassador’s Washington DC office and serving as a liaison to the White House, State Department, and Congress.

Before that, Frideres served as Senior Advisor to the Deputy Secretary of State and Special Advisor to the Director of the Office of Policy Planning. Prior to joining the State Department, she served as General Counsel to Iowa Senator Joni Ernst.

Frideres is a summa cum laude graduate of Drake University and holds a law degree, with high distinction, from the University of Iowa College of Law. 

Reynolds was reelected last week to another 4-year term by defeating Democratic candidate, Deidre DeJear.