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Alumnus Gerd Clabaugh receives Public Service Award

Author: Troy Rutter

This story was submitted by University Professor Mack Shelley, Department of Political Science chair.

The 2015 Dwight Ink Public Service Award was proudly presented by the Department of Political Science at its April 15 Awards Luncheon to Gerd Clabaugh, Director of the Iowa Department of Public Health. Gerd is a 1989 Graduate of the Master of Public Administration program at Iowa State.

Since 1997 the Department of Political Science has given the Dwight Ink Public Service Award to public managers in Iowa who exemplify the highest standards of dedication to public service and are characterized by their leadership abilities, their passion for their work, their high professional standards, and the respect they are given by their peers.

Gerd Clabaugh was appointed by Governor Terry Branstad in May 2014 as Director of the Iowa Department of Public Health. Clabaugh has served in many capacities within that agency, including Deputy Director, Director of Health Promotion and Chronic Disease Prevention, Director of Acute Disease Epidemiology and Emergency Response. During the early 1990s, he was appointed Director of the Center for Health Policy. His responsibilities in these various programs included support of all 101 local health agencies, infectious disease surveillance, immunization programming, and emergency medical services. He is former director of operations at the Iowa Healthcare Collaborative, where he worked with Iowa hospitals in promoting infection reduction strategies. As a private consultant, he supported public health agencies in assessing community health needs, program development, planning for public health improvement, and grant writing. He has previously served as chief employee benefits manager for the State of Iowa and on the staff of Governor Branstad. While director of health policy at IDPH in the mid-1990’s, he was appointed by Governor Branstad as project director for a Robert Wood Johnson-funded initiative to study and implement healthcare reform in Iowa.

He is also past-president and past-legislative chair of the Iowa Public Health Association, and has served as an adjunct faculty member at the University of Iowa, Montana State University-Billings, Des Moines University, and Iowa State University. He has been lead author or contributed to academic publications in a number of journals. In 2015, he was elected to the Board of Directors for the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials, comprised of the health directors from the 50 states.

Gerd’s community involvement includes currently serving his third term on the city council and as the Mayor Pro Tem in the city of Johnston, Iowa. He is the past-Chairman of the Board of Directors for central Iowa’s regional solid waste agency, providing services to over 400,000 Iowans.

The Department of Political Science is delighted that one of its distinguished alums is the recipient of the 2015 Ink Public Service Award.