DES MOINES – The Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs today announced it has appointed Jana Rieker as Director of Strategic Initiatives.
In her new role, Rieker will develop comprehensive strategies that drive the department's mission-based efforts to be a catalyst for the creative economy; support arts, social studies and Iowa history education; strengthen the skills of arts, history and cultural leaders; and revitalize Iowa communities by building upon the authentic character that makes them attractive places to live, work and raise a family.
"As Iowa continues to grow while valuing world-class arts, historic preservation and cultural opportunities, Jana's experience in marketing and communications will be highly valuable in helping us take our key initiatives to the next level," Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs Director Chris Kramer said. "We are delighted she has joined our team and will help us move forward with these efforts."
"I'm excited to join the Department of Cultural Affairs and I thank Director Kramer for this wonderful opportunity," Rieker said. "The department has done a terrific job ensuring quality-of-life amenities are a central part of the equation in helping Iowa attract and retain a globally minded workforce. I am looking forward to helping the department build on that momentum and ensuring it continues to grow the creative economy."
The department's efforts stem from its hub at the State Historical Building, where it showcases Iowa history and the cultural arts while interacting and partnering with arts, media, history and historic-preservation leaders across the state. Its efforts help rural and urban communities become more vibrant by leveraging their authentic historic and cultural assets to generate economic growth and job opportunities.
Prior to joining the department, Rieker served in marketing and strategic communications roles at Bankers Trust, Trilix, Meredith Corporation, WHO Radio and The Des Moines Register. She has been active in the community throughout her career, serving on numerous boards including MercyOne House of Mercy Board, the Iowa High School Athletic Association Iowa Hall of Pride, Central College Board of Trustees and Women Lead Change. She also serves as co-chair of Million Women Mentors – Iowa, promoting girls and women in STEM.
As an advocate for arts, culture and personal well-being, she has served on committees for several organizations, including United Way of Central Iowa, Des Moines Community Playhouse, Greater Des Moines Partnership, Mid-Iowa Health Foundation, Greater Des Moines Leadership Institute, Community Connect, West Des Moines Community Schools, Employee & Family Resources, National Agri-Marketing Association and many others that support children and family mental health initiatives.
Rieker earned a bachelor's degree in business from Central College in Pella, Iowa, and a master's in business administration from the University of Iowa. She lives in Clive with her husband, Mike, and two children, Grant and Meredith.
The Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs and its three divisions – the Iowa Arts Council, Produce Iowa - State Office of Media Production and the State Historical Society of Iowa – empower Iowa to build and sustain culturally vibrant communities by connecting Iowans to the people, places and points of pride that define our state. The department’s work enables Iowa to be recognized as a state that fosters creativity and serves as a catalyst for innovation where the stories of Iowa are preserved and communicated to connect past, present and future generations.