A New York City attorney, Nick Smithberg, will succeed Dennis Groenenboom as executive director of Iowa Legal Aid on Jan. 4, 2018. The announcement was made yesterday by Mark Zaiger, president of the Iowa Legal Aid Board of Directors, and Elisabeth Reynoldson, chair of the search committee.
Smithberg, who will relocate from New York City to Des Moines in early January, most recently worked with the New York City Department of Consumer Affairs as deputy general counsel and executive director of the Paid Sick Leave and Commuter Benefits Divisions. He is a 1994 graduate of the University of Southern California Law Center, and began his law career with South Brooklyn Legal Services, working as a staff attorney in the housing unit. He has also worked with Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy, LLP as well as Cooley LLP in New York City, focusing on litigation in the corporate and bankruptcy departments.
After an extensive process, the search committee concluded that Smithberg was the best fit for the current needs of Iowa Legal Aid, Zaiger said. “Nick’s vision, passion and dedication to helping to meet the legal needs of Iowa’s poor impressed the search committee and staff members who met him,” he added. “He will clearly be a zealous advocate in maintaining Iowa Legal Aid’s proven commitment to underprivileged Iowans.”
Groenenboom, who has served as executive director since 1992, will continue at Iowa Legal Aid during the transition. He does not currently have a definite date for his retirement from the organization.