Vice Chairman Joni Ernst
About Senator Joni Ernst
Senator Joni Ernst, native of Red Oak, Iowa, has dedicated her life to her state and country, having served in the military for over 23 years and now in the United States Senate.
In November 2014, Joni was elected as the first woman to serve in federal elected office from the State of Iowa and also became the first female combat veteran elected to serve in the United States Senate. In Washington, Joni serves on five Senate committees of major importance to Iowans: Armed Services; Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry; Environment and Public Works; Judiciary; and Small Business and Entrepreneurship.
Joni is focused on growing a vibrant economy and ensuring the government runs effectively and efficiently which means cutting out-of-control spending, reducing taxes, eliminating harmful regulations and balancing the budget.
Born and raised on a farm in Montgomery County, Joni’s parents instilled in her the values important to Iowans: hard work, service and sacrifice. As a mother, soldier and independent voice, Joni is committed to bringing these values to Washington, D.C.
Joni received her undergraduate degree from Iowa State University where she joined the university’s ROTC program. After graduating, Joni joined the U.S. Army Reserves. In 2003, Joni served as a company commander in Kuwait and Iraq, leading 150 Iowa Army National Guardsmen during Operation Iraqi Freedom. Joni retired as a Lieutenant Colonel in the Iowa Army National Guard after 23 years of military service.
Known for her independent leadership and commitment to public service, Joni previously served as the Montgomery County Auditor where she worked to eliminate wasteful government spending and protect taxpayers’ hard-earned dollars. As a state senator, Joni fought to balance the state budget and helped turn Iowa’s $900 million budget deficit into a $1 billion surplus. In addition to her work to balance the budget, Joni worked tirelessly to grow jobs and the economy, cut taxes, improve education, and reduce the role of government in Iowans’ lives.