||Joseph Jones serves as Executive Director for The Harkin Institute for Public Policy & Citizen Engagement. The Institute offers nonpartisan programming, experiences, research and connectivity focused on four areas that defined the career of Senator Tom Harkin (Retired): people with disabilities, retirement security, wellness and nutrition, and labor and employment.
Before joining The Harkin Institute in 2016, Joseph was Senior Vice President of Government Relations and Public Policy for the Greater Des Moines Partnership.
Prior to moving back to Iowa to join the Partnership team, Joseph served as a Legislative Assistant to Senator Harkin in Washington, D.C. He was responsible for the Senator's defense appropriations work as well as the full range of military and veterans issues. Additionally, he focused on the Senator's other appropriations work, housing issues, and advised the Senator on small business and trade. Prior to that, Joseph served as Director of Governmental Affairs for the Iowa Finance Authority; and was the Senior Communications Specialist for Governor Tom Vilsack's administration. Before that, he was the Chief of Staff and Education Director for Creative Visions Human Development Institute, a non-profit organization targeting at-risk youth in Central Iowa.
In the area of politics, Joseph served as the Iowa Political Director for the 2008 Obama campaign for president and is a past Political Director for the Iowa Democratic Party. In 2017, Joseph was elected to the city council of Windsor Heights, Iowa.
Joseph has engaged in a career-long commitment to public service through volunteerism. He serves on the Board of Directors for Bravo Greater Des Moines, Mid-Iowa Health Foundation, and Greater Des Moines Community Foundation. Joseph is a Trustee on the American Council of Young Political Leaders Board of Trustees. He is a graduate of Leadership Iowa and was named to the Business Record's 'Forty Under 40' Class of 2009. In 2019, Joseph was voted the most influential Forty Under 40 honoree from the 2009 class, noted as having the biggest positive effect on the community. He is currently an active volunteer with Iowa Radio Reading Information Service (IRIS) and Everybody Wins! Iowa.
Joseph is a graduate of the United States Military Academy Preparatory School and earned his BBA in economics from Loyola University New Orleans. He earned a Master of Public Administration degree in public policy and a Certificate in Non-Profit Leadership and Administration from Drake University. In 2014, he was presented Drake's Distinguished MPA Alumnus Award. He is a graduate of Air Command and Staff College and is also a Fellow of the Truman National Security Project. Currently, Joseph is a doctoral student at Drake University, pursuing a PhD in Education. In 2018, he was the Executive in Residence at the University of Iowa's College of Public Health.
Joseph is a native of Shreveport, Louisiana. In his free time, he enjoys traveling, reading, cooking, and engaging in international citizen diplomacy and governance. Although Joseph has visited dozens of countries and nearly all 50 states, he is most proud of seeing all of Iowa's 99 counties. He follows national security issues closely and finds time to spend with his pet tortoise, Matilda, and Newfie, Toula Marie.