116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
Gov. Kim Reynolds has named John Benson as interim director for the Iowa Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Management.
Benson has served as Homeland Security’s chief of staff since April 2019 and started working at the agency in 1992, according to the agency’s June newsletter.
He “has played an instrumental role in many of HSEMD’s programs, including radiological emergency preparedness, disaster recovery, 911, public information, and as the department's legislative liaison,” the newsletter said.
Benson is taking over for Paul Trombino, who announced May 20 he was leaving the agency for “his next adventure outside of Iowa.” He had been Homeland Security director for only four months after serving as Reynolds’ chief operations officer since 2019.
Homeland Security and Emergency Management, which began in 1965 as the State Civil Defense Agency, is charged with making Iowa more prepared for disasters, both natural and human caused. The agency will be the clearinghouse for federal aid that comes to Iowa after the August derecho, which resulted in disaster declarations in 37 counties.
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