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Meet our staff

To contact a staff member by phone, dial 515-244-1194 and the individual's extension, listed below. You may also e-mail a member of the staff by using the format

Ralph Rosenberg, Executive Director (ext. 201)

Ralph Rosenberg became the Iowa Environmental Council’s executive director in August, 2012.  Prior to joining the Council, Rosenberg led the Iowa Civil Rights Commission, a state agency, as it expanded its outreach activities, established a new legal clinic, and successfully secured significant new federal funding.  Prior to that, Rosenberg directed the Coalition for Family and Children’s Services in Iowa, a membership association of 32 public and private agencies serving at-risk children and families.  He also co-founded a statewide nonpartisan institute for emerging leaders in all three branches of Iowa’s government.

As a member of the Iowa legislature, Ralph was a leader in a bipartisan group of lawmakers who successfully enacted a series of landmark bills, including Iowa’s Groundwater Protection Act and a major energy efficiency law, both of which served as models for other states.

His work on energy and environmental issues earned him accolades from the National Center for Policy Alternatives.  He has been recognized by the Council of State Governments for his work establishing innovative state and local partnerships, and received legislator of the year honors from the Iowa Chapter of the Sierra Club, the Izaak Walton League, and the Wildlife Society.

Nathaniel Baer , Energy Program Director (ext. 206)

Nathaniel joined the Council, in July 2007, from Environment Iowa, an extension of Iowa PIRG—Public Interest Research Group.  There he successfully advocated for new policies in Iowa to address global warming, boost clean energy, and improve energy efficiency programs.

Nathaniel has a JD from the University of Iowa College of Law, where he graduated with high honors and was awarded the Michelle Bennett Client Representation Award and the Public Interest Law Foundation Grant. During law school, he represented nonprofit organizations on formation and management and won asylum cases for several clients from east Africa. Prior to law school, Nathaniel managed a large organic farm in southern Minnesota and worked as a policy advocate and organizer on affordable housing issues.

jamie burch, development Director (ext. 202)

Jamie BurchJamie Burch joined the Iowa Environmental Council in February 2015. Prior to joining the Council she worked in campaign politics. Most recently, Jamie served as the Iowa Finance Director for Bruce Braley’s U.S. Senate race. Jamie grew up in Ossian, Iowa in Winneshiek County, and is a graduate of Drake University.

She holds bachelor’s degrees in politics and international relations. As the Council’s development director, Jamie manages the individual giving and major donor programs, organizational development strategies and grant procurement.

Susan Heathcote, Water Program Director (ext. 205)

Susan joined the Council in 1996 and provides leadership for the Council on a number of issues, including agricultural nonpoint source pollution, livestock manure management, water quality monitoring, water quality standards, and restoration of impaired waters.

Susan obtained her undergraduate degree in geology from the University of Arkansas in 1976 and received her Master’s degree in geology and geophysics from the University of Iowa in 1979. Susan worked for 11 years as a petroleum geophysicist for Mobil Oil and for 6 years as an environmental consultant for the Howard R. Green Company prior to joining the Council.


Katy HeggenKaty has been with the Iowa Environmental Council as communications and outreach director since July 2014. Prior to joining the Council, Katy served as marketing and communications manager at Planned Parenthood of the Heartland. At the Council, Katy works to raise awareness of and bolster support for the Council, its mission and areas of focus through the agency’s communications and outreach efforts.

Katy, a St. Paul, MN native, came to Des Moines by way of Drake University, where she earned a bachelor of arts in journalism and mass communication with a public relations emphasis.


Cindy LaneCindy joined the Iowa Environmental Council in June 2014, working with the energy program director to address climate issues and advance clean energy policies in the state. Raised and educated in Iowa, Cindy holds both a law degree and a master’s degree in urban and regional planning.

Prior to her work at the Council, Cindy worked with environmental nonprofit organizations in Wisconsin, as well as with multidisciplinary architecture and engineering firms in Iowa.

julie ryan, office manager/bookkeeper (Ext. 200)

Jennifer TerryJulie joined the Iowa Environmental Council in October 2014. As office manager and bookkeeper, Julie oversees the Council’s accounting, budget and finances, provides database and administrative support, manages vendor relations and provides customer service to our supporters and member organizations.

Prior to joining the Council, Julie worked in the IT field for many years at Principal Financial Group and ARAG North America. A native Iowan who grew up on a century farm in Tama County, Julie holds a degree from the University of Northern Iowa.

Jen Terry, Agricultural Policy Specialist (Ext. 211)

Jennifer TerryJen Terry is a native Iowan who grew up on a dairy farm in Hardin County, Iowa.  A graduate of the University of Iowa College of Law, she has extensive experience leading business development and marketing efforts for an Iowa-based healthcare organization.

At the Council, Jen works to broaden the Council’s coalition working on water pollution reduction in Iowa through development of new solutions for putting conservation practices in place where they are needed and measurement of Iowa’s progress.


JORGEN ROSE, Agricultural Policy INTERN

Jennifer TerryAn Iowa native and a graduate of the University of Northern Iowa, Jorgen is currently a graduate student at Indiana University’s School of Public and Environmental Affairs, where he is pursuing degrees in environmental science and natural resource policy and management.

This is the second summer Jorgen has interned with the Council. He works on a variety of agricultural and water policy issues, including analysis and evaluation of Iowa’s Nutrient Reduction Strategy and the associated Water Quality Initiative pilot projects.

Interested in becoming an intern in our office? Send an e-mail to