I am proud to announce the hiring of Kathleen Rapp of Omaha, Neb., as Vice President of Grants & Initiatives and Matthew Henkes of Washington, DC, as Director of Grants Programs
As we implement the Foundation’s strategic plan, Kathleen and Matthew’s skill and understanding of evaluation and subject matter expertise in education, economic development, and community development will be invaluable.
Most recently, Kathleen spent eight years with AARP and AARP Foundation. There, she served as Senior Strategist working with AARP’s leadership to create and oversee the implementation of the organization’s health care strategy. Prior to that, she created and directed AARP’s National Health Reform Education Campaign.
Of note, Kathleen spent extensive time in Iowa while she was at the AARP Foundation. In concert with AARP Iowa, the Office of the Governor, the Iowa Department on Aging, Iowa businesses, nonprofits, and colleges, Kathleen directed AARP Foundation’s Governors’ taskforce on the aging workforce. The taskforce worked with businesses and organizations to recruit and retain workers 50 and addressed potential legislative changes to enhance employment efforts. Kathleen guided the effort here in Iowa, as well as similar initiatives in Arizona and Arkansas.
Kathleen also brings extensive experience in economic development, education, and the arts from her positions with Goodwill Industries International, the National Governor’s Association, and the Foundation for Rural Education and Development.
Kathleen earned both a Master of Public Administration and a Bachelor of Arts from George Washington University in Washington D.C.
Matthew joins Iowa West from Chemonics International Inc., an international development organization that promotes social and economic change. At Chemonics, he held a variety of roles including deputy director of a $60 million economic growth best practices program in Asia and the Middle East. Additionally, Matthew managed a large grants program supporting environmental, community development, and economic growth activities.
Prior to Chemonics, Matthew was a program manager in California for the Orange County Council of Governments. In this position, he developed a transportation grant program to help reduce traffic congestion and led an outreach program to educate local public agencies about state grants available for environmentally-focused, place-making projects.
Matthew holds two graduate degrees — a Master of Public Administration from Syracuse University and a Master of Arts in International Relations and International Economics from Johns Hopkins University. Additionally, he has a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of California, San Diego.
Kathleen began at Iowa West on December 2, and Matthew started on January 2.