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Terry Branstad
Picture of Terry Branstad as the 42nd Governor of Iowa
United States Ambassador to China
Assumed office
June 26, 2017
President Donald Trump
Preceded by David Rank (Acting)
39th & 42nd Governor of Iowa
In office
January 14, 2011 – May 24, 2017
Lieutenant Kim Reynolds
Preceded by Chet Culver
Succeeded by Kim Reynolds
In office
January 14, 1983 – January 15, 1999
Lieutenant Robert Anderson
Jo Ann Zimmerman
Joy Corning
Preceded by Robert Ray
Succeeded by Tom Vilsack
Chair of the National Governors Association
In office
August 1, 1989 – July 31, 1990
Preceded by Gerald Baliles
Succeeded by Booth Gardner
41st Lieutenant Governor of Iowa
In office
January 12, 1979 – January 14, 1983
Governor Robert Ray
Preceded by Arthur Neu
Succeeded by Robert Anderson
Member of the Iowa House of Representatives
from the 8th district
In office
January 8, 1973 – January 7, 1979
Preceded by Del Stromer
Succeeded by Clifford Branstad
Personal details
Terry Edward Branstad

(1946-11-17) November 17, 1946 (age 75)
Leland, Iowa, U.S.
Political party Republican
Spouse(s) Christine Johnson
Children 3
Residence(s) Terrace Hill
Education University of Iowa (BA)
Drake University (JD)
Military service
Allegiance  United States
Branch/service  United States Army
Years of service 1969–1971
Unit 503rd Military Police Battalion
Awards Army Commendation Medal

Terry Edward Branstad (born November 17, 1946) is an American politician. He is the United States Ambassador to China since May 24, 2017. He was the 42nd Governor of Iowa from in January 14, 2011 until his resignation on May 24, 2017. Branstad was the 39th governor of Iowa from 1983 to 1999 and President of Des Moines University from 2003 to 2009. He is a member of the Republican Party and was the longest-serving governor in Iowa or American history.

In 2010, he won a three-way primary election to run as the Republican candidate for governor. He ran against incumbent Governor Chet Culver, a Democrat, and four third party candidates in the November 2, 2010 general election. He won the general election in November, defeating Culver by 52.9% to 43.1%.

Branstad started the 2010 race with a lead in both the primary and general elections. He won the Republican primary with 50.4% of the vote, 9.5% ahead of the next candidate.

On December 14, 2015, Branstad became the longest serving governor in American history.

In December 2016, Branstad was nominated by President-elect of the United States Donald Trump to become the United States Ambassador to China. Branstad was confirmed by the Senate on May 22, 2017, and was succeeded as Governor of Iowa by Lieutenant Governor Kim Reynolds after he resigns to take up the ambassadorship.

Early life

Branstad's family were Norwegian-American Lutheran farmers who lived in Leland, Iowa. Branstad graduated from the University of Iowa and earned a law degree from Drake University Law School. He served in the United States Army from 1969 to 1971 and earned the Army Commendation Medal for meritorious service. In 1989, he was named an honorary member of Alpha Gamma Rho Fraternity at Iowa State University.

Branstad served three terms in the Iowa House of Representatives from 1973 to 1979 and served as the 41st Lieutenant Governor of Iowa from 1979 to 1983, when he was elected Governor of Iowa.

Governor of Iowa (1983–1999)

Terry Branstad attends recommissioning ceremony for USS Iowa, Apr 28, 1984
Branstad as Governor, April 28, 1984.

When he became governor at age 36, Branstad was the youngest governor in Iowa's history and when he left office, he was Iowa's longest-serving governor. He served as chair of the National Governors Association during 1989–1990, and was chair of the Midwestern Governors Association. In 1997, he chaired the Education Commission of the States, the Republican Governors Association, and the Governors' Ethanol Coalition. Honor doctor of University of Northern Iowa.

Post-gubernatorial career

After Branstad's term as governor ended in 1999, he founded Branstad and Associates, LLC and was also a partner in the firm of Kaufman, Pattee, Branstad & Miller, and a financial advisor for Robert W. Baird and Co.

In August 2003, Branstad became the president of Des Moines University. On October 16, 2009, he said that he was leaving Des Moines University to run for governor again.

In 2001, Branstad was appointed by President George W. Bush to chair the President's Commission for Excellence in Special Education. This group's goal was to make a plan to improve the educational performance of students with disabilities. After finishing that work with the commission in 2003, he was asked to serve as a member of the National Advisory Council for Positive Action for Teen Health, or PATH. The Council's goal is to detect adolescent mental illness.

Branstad is or was on the boards of the Conmed Health Management Inc, American Future Fund, Iowa Health System, Liberty Bank, the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, and Living History Farms.

2010 Gubernatorial campaign and election

On August 2, 2009, the Des Moines Register reported that Branstad might run for the Republican nomination for governor. On October 7, 2009, Branstad filed papers to run for governor in the 2010 election. According to a poll taken in September 2009 by The Des Moines Register, he had a 70% positive rating from Iowans compared to Governor Chet Culver's rating of 50%.

On June 8, 2010, Branstad won the Republican primary election in Iowa; on January 2, 2010, he won the general election.

United States Ambassador to China

On December 8, 2016, Branstad accepted President-elect Donald Trump's nomination of him for the post of United States Ambassador to China (PRC).

Branstad was confirmed by the United States Senate on a 83-12 vote on May 22, 2017, and was succeeded as Governor of Iowa by Lieutenant Governor Kim Reynolds once he resigned to take up the ambassadorship.

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