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© 2017, Iowa Sister States

Last Updated: November 6, 2019






Nominations Open for Robert D. Ray ISS Service Award

Heather M Jones is a Des Moines, Iowa native and proud graduate of Des Moines’ East High School (‘02). Jones holds a Bachelor of Arts in International Relations and Political Science from William Jewell College (‘06) and a Masters in Business Leadership from William Penn University (‘11).


She was introduced to citizen diplomacy through the Des Moines/Kofu Student Exchange in 1996 which led her to serve on the Sister Cities International Board of Directors twice, 2002-2003 and 2005-2006. She also interned with the Sister City Association of Kansas City (Summer 2005).


While Jones’ work path has never been linear, it has taken her to places that she never quite envisioned. Highlights include: UTOS-USA, Inc (a Korean company that brought Korean students to the USA), Gaba Corporation in Tokyo, Japan, Betty Andrews Media, DSM Brew Coffee Company, and DeJear for Iowa.


Jones is active in the Des Moines community with Urban Dreams, the Des Moines Branch of the NAACP, the Advisory Board of Languages at Grand View University, and New Leaders Council Des Moines. Jones uses all her experiences to help make the greater Des Moines community and the state of Iowa the best it can be.

Kassi holds a BS in Anthropology from Iowa State University with a secondary major in International Studies and a minor in both Spanish and Math. Some of her previous work experience includes managing a team of AmeriCorps members, survey and database work for neighborhood revitalization initiatives, organizing large scale events, and programs. Kassi first became interested in traveling and other cultures through her experience in a youth exchange with her hometown's (Winterset) sister city Minami-Alps, Japan. This led to a lifelong passion for traveling, making connections, and learning more about other cultures. Kassi has been with Iowa Sister States since March 2015.