Iowa Newspaper Association welcomes Debbie Anselm as new executive director

Dec 1, 2023


The Iowa Newspaper Association has announced that Debbie Anselm will lead the organization as executive director, effective October 24.

Anselm, a visionary industry leader of 20 years, brings a wealth of experience to the INA and its 240 member newspapers, most recently serving as the association’s board president and with Lee Enterprises as president, Iowa Strategic Business Unit (SBU).

“She combines a deep familiarity with the INA and how it has operated in the past with an outside perspective that will help us take a fresh look at how we do things and ensure we are on the right track for the future,” said Amy Duncan, who co-chaired the search committee with Terry Christensen, INA Board president.
The search process was comprehensive, starting with 18 applicants, six remote interviews and many hours of in-person interviews that included three finalists both within and outside the industry.

“At the end of that process, the search committee unanimously agreed that Debbie Anselm is the right choice to lead the INA,” said Christensen. “Debbie has been a leader in the newspaper industry in both Lee Enterprises and Iowa for many years. She also has experience lobbying, managing non-profit organizations, driving revenue and overseeing multiple publications.”

Anselm’s enthusiasm for embracing a future-focused vision centers around her passion for the role newspapers play in our communities.

“As we navigate an ever-evolving media landscape, I will foster collaboration and innovation while continuing to encourage excellence across all areas of our industry,” says Anselm. “Our future is bright. I look forward to contributing to our industry’s success in a meaningful way and working alongside an extraordinary team at our Association who work diligently to support the local newspapers serving our state.”

Anselm will be the fourth executive director to oversee the 40-year-old association. A graduate of Indiana University, she has been an innovative leader in media and served on numerous community-focused boards. Anselm takes over the role from Susan Patterson Plank, who left after a decade of service to the INA to rejoin Gannett Co. Inc. as vice president of strategic initiatives, a newly established position designed to work collaboratively with press associations around the country and champion new initiatives and approaches to public notices.