- Associated Press - Tuesday, February 3, 2015

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Gov. Terry Branstad has chosen Beth Townsend to serve as director of Iowa Workforce Development.

Branstad announced the appointment Tuesday. Townsend has been serving in the role in an interim capacity since the previous director retired last month.

Townsend previously served as executive director of the Iowa Civil Rights Commission. Branstad said in a statement that she will help employers find a “talented and capable workforce.”

The appointment must now be confirmed by the Iowa Senate.

Former director Teresa Wahlert retired last month. Last year, she was accused of mismanaging the department and creating a hostile work environment. A former chief judge said he was fired because he stood up to Wahlert.

Wahlert later defended her work in front of lawmakers investigating the agency.

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