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Iowa Commission on the Status of Women

The Iowa Commission on the Status of Women (ICSW) is made up of seven Governor-appointed commissioners. Like all statewide boards and commissions, the ICSW is balanced for gender and political affiliation.

The ICSW has the following powers and duties (Iowa Code 216A.54):

  1. Study the opportunities for and changing needs of the women and girls of this state.
  2. Serve as liaison between the office and the public, sharing information and gathering constituency input.
  3. Recommend to the board the adoption of rules pursuant to chapter 17A as it deems necessary for the commission and office.
  4. Recommend legislative and executive action to the governor and general assembly.
  5. Establish advisory committees, work groups, or other coalitions as appropriate.

Strategic Goals and Policy Priorities: 


Executive Committee

  • Elizabeth Coonan, Chair of Commission
  • Rachelle Hunt Russian, Vice-Chair of Commission

2019 Iowa Women's Hall of Fame Selection Committee

  • Wendy Musgrave, Chair of 2019 selection committee, commissioner
  • Sherill Whisenand, commissioner
  • Sean Bagniewski, commissioner
  • Beth Coonan, ex officio member of committee/vice-chair of commission
  • Rev. Dr. Jacqueline Thompson, public member
  • Kathy Anderson, public member

Public Policy Committee

  • Tom Carnahan, commissioner
  • Dave Gudenkauf, commissioner

Iowa Women at Work Project Committee

  • Rachelle Hunt Russian, Vice-chair of commission
  • Beth Coonan, Chair of commission
  • Tom Carnahan, commissioner

Talent Bank Project Committee

  • Sherill Whisenand, commissioner
  • Beth Coonan, Chair of commission

If you would like more information on the ICSW or on the Office on the Status of Women within the Iowa Department of Human Rights, please e-mail us.

The Commission works closely with the Office on the Status of Women to achieve its goals.


Sherill Whisenand
Commissioner; 2017 Iowa Women's Hall of Fame Committee
Photo of Matthew Gilbert

If you are interested in applying to serve on a state Board or Commission, please apply through the Office of the Governor.