AMES, Iowa – Jim Harken has been hired as the director for Iowa State University Extension and Outreach Region 10, covering Benton, Linn and Jones counties. He will begin the position March 1.
Harken currently serves as special projects manager for ISU Extension and Outreach’s County Services unit, and has held this position since 2014. His previous experience includes serving as public relations specialist for the Iowa Lions Eye Bank, public information officer for the State of Arizona, Game and Fish Department, and executive director for Marshalltown, Iowa’s Central Business District - a Main Street Community. In these positions he worked with elected and appointed boards, and gained experience with organizing volunteer networks and securing grant funding.
“Jim is a proactive leader. He has provided leadership on a city, regional and state level,” said Robert Dodds, ISU Extension and Outreach assistant vice president for county services.
As special projects manager for County Services, Harken developed, introduced and provided state training in support of ISU Extension and Outreach’s new intranet platform, “My Extension.”
Harken serves on the Iowa State University Professional and Scientific Council and is the professional development chair. He was recognized by the State of Arizona as an outstanding spokesperson and excellent educator, and received a Commendation of Excellence Award.
Harken received a bachelor’s degree in communications from the University of Northern Iowa and a Master of Public Administration from Western International University.