Des Moines Born and Raised

Josh Mandelbaum was born and raised in Des Moines, Iowa. He is the product of Des Moines public schools having attended Hanawalt Elementary School, Merrill Middle School, Roosevelt High School and Central Academy. Josh has left Des Moines and returned twice – first to attend Brown University and then to attend the University of Iowa College of Law. He currently lives on the west side of Des Moines with his wife Katherine, his son Liam (3), daughter Ayla (1) and black lab Truman (3).

Policy Advisor to Governor Vilsack and Lt. Governor Pederson

Josh served as a policy advisor to Governor Vilsack and Lt. Governor Pederson. During his service, Josh had a role in many of the Vilsack-Pederson administration accomplishments such as the establishment of the Iowa Veterans Cemetery, the creation of the Office of Asian and Pacific Islanders, and initiation of a Spanish language interpreter program. His efforts helped thousands of Iowans receive increased access to health care through the hawk-i and Medicaid programs, and improved mental health, family planning, and wellness care through legislative initiatives.

Environmental Attorney Working for Clean Energy and Clean Water

When he left the Vilsack-Pederson administration, Josh went to law school at the University of Iowa. After graduating from law school, Josh worked at a firm in the Quad Cities before returning to Des Moines to work for the Environmental Law and Policy Center. Josh is a leading voice for Iowa’s clean energy economy working on policies and regulatory proceedings that promote wind, solar, and energy efficiency. Josh is a strong advocate for improving Iowa’s water quality. He has successfully fought in court to protect and enforce water quality standards, and he is engaged in collaborative efforts advocating for water quality funding and increased adoption of conservation practices.

Committed to the Community

Josh has always been committed to his community. As a member of the Polk County Early Childhood Iowa board, he works to provide quality early childhood education and child care to all of Polk County. He is a founding advisory board member of the University of Iowa REACH (Realizing Education and Career Hopes) program that provides students with cognitive and learning disabilities the post-secondary training they need to hold employment and live independently. He attends Temple B’nai Jeshurun on Grand Avenue. He currently serves on the Greater Des Moines Jewish Federation and has previously served as a board member of the Iowa Jewish Life Center on Polk Boulevard.

Recognized Leader

Josh has been recognized as a community leader. He is a graduate of the Greater Des Moines Leadership Institute. He was honored as a member of the Midwest Energy News 2016 40 under 40 class for his leadership on clean energy issues. His professional accomplishments and civic commitment to the community earned him recognition as part of the Des Moines Business Record’s 2017 40 under 40 class.