Staff spotlight: Mallory brings a passion for environmental stewardship, helping local communities to her clean energy work

Small Towns

Growing up, I spent most of my time outdoors, whether at my grandparents’ small farm, camping, participating in Girl Scouts, or at various other conservation advocacy activities. From a young age, I had a strong passion for environmental stewardship and working to mitigate climate change.

In fall 2019, I began college at Iowa State University, majoring in journalism and mass communications as well as political science. With the 2020 caucus on the horizon, I eagerly delved into Iowa politics covering presidential candidates’ campaign events and interviewing numerous candidates for the Iowa State Daily. After the 2020 presidential election, I realized I no longer wanted to be a journalist. Although I enjoyed political reporting, I recognized I wanted a career that would enable me to have a more direct and hands on approach to important issues.

Unsure of what career to pursue but knowing I wanted to stay in politics and help others, I became a legislative clerk at the Iowa House of Representatives. I quickly fell in love with the complexity of public policy and the reward of helping my fellow Iowans.

During my final semester at Iowa State, I moved to Washington D.C. to intern at the U.S. Senate. There, I learned the importance of listening to rural and small communities’ voices at a national level. Most of my work centered around the Inflation Reduction Act and interacting with constituents to simplify complex policy and help communities unlock tax credits and funding.

After I graduated, I began working at John Deere in Urbandale, Iowa, as a communications specialist. Although the work was rewarding, I longed to return to work in policy and directly with communities. So I was excited when I found the Center for Rural Affairs.

My earlier political experiences and my passion for environmental stewardship and helping local communities prepared me for my position at the Center. As a clean energy policy associate for Iowa, I am eager to advocate for rural and small communities while working to create a more sustainable future.

Outside of work, I volunteer with the Iowa American Civil Liberties Union helping to organize tabling, phone banking, and other events to connect and interact with Iowans about issues impacting their fundamental rights.