Iowa Women’s Foundation names new president & CEO

Deann Cook

The Iowa Women’s Foundation has named Deann Cook as its next president & CEO. The transition takes effect Jan. 1, 2023, following the retirement of Dawn Oliver-Wiand.

Since 2013, Ms. Cook has served as the president & CEO of United Ways of Iowa, the statewide association for Iowa’s 25 United Ways. During that time, she worked to advocate for policy priorities in education, financial stability and health while also strengthening local United Ways through training and networking. She also managed statewide projects, including the ALICE report and Iowa Reading Corps.

In her new role, Ms. Cook will be responsible for leading operations, managing the team, and working with the board of directors to drive the IWF forward in its mission to improve the lives of Iowa’s women and girls. 

“This role allows me to move from educating Iowans about barriers to shattering them in collaboration with the IWF board, staff, and donors who are passionate about this work,” stated Ms. Cook, who was also recognized in IWF’s annual signature publication Ovation 2022.

“Deann is a fierce advocate in our fight against barriers,” stated Ms. Oliver-Wiand, who retires at the end of this year. “I am so excited to see how her passion and expertise shape the future of IWF and its mission to improve the lives of Iowa’s women and girls. I can’t imagine better hands to leave it in.”

Ms. Oliver-Wiand joined IWF as president & CEO in February 2013. Under her leadership, IWF went from awarding $13,250 in grants in 2012 to awarding $370,000 in 2022. She also helped establish a $3 million Legacy Fund campaign, which launched publicly Aug. 27, the 28th anniversary of the foundation.

“The Legacy Fund is the largest and only long-term fund of its kind in the state of Iowa, and my final goal as the President & CEO is to see the campaign through to the end,” Ms. Oliver-Wiand stated.

The fund has reached 82% of its $3 million goal.