About

Claire Celsi is serving her first term in the Iowa Senate. She represents the southwest portion of Polk County.

Claire Celsi is a small business owner and community volunteer. She dedicates her free time to advocating for public education through the group Iowans for Public Education, a grassroots group she helped to activate.

Senator Celsi was born and raised in Des Moines and has spent her career in the non-profit, political and advertising agency world before starting her business in 2009. She works with small to medium-sized companies, nonprofits and government agencies to help them get noticed through public relations, marketing and grassroots advocacy. Some of her former clients include the Des Moines Water Works, the Iowa Lottery, Iowa Economic Development Authority, the Iowa Tourism Bureau, SILT, Kinze Manufacturing, Weitz Construction Company, the Ethanol industry – and many other organizations.

A graduate of Drake University, Celsi returns as often as she can to guest lecture or participate in panel discussions or resume workshops to help students learn how to navigate the post-college world. Claire was also an adjunct at Drake, teaching courses in internet marketing, public relations writing and social media.

In an effort to serve the public and gain knowledge about the community, Celsi has served on many boards of directors over the past 25 years, including Iowa Great Places, the Iowa Alcoholic Beverages Commission, Beacon of Life, Central Iowa Shelter and Services and the West Des Moines Board of Adjustment.

Senator Celsi currently serves on the Family Development and Self-Sufficiency Council and the Early Childhood Iowa board and the Drake School of Journalism and Mass Communications National Advisory Board. Senator Celsi serves on the Historic Valley Junction Foundation Board of Directors. She’s a founding member of the Iowa Housing Partnership, a coalition that advocates for better affordable housing policy. Celsi is a member of the Latino College Action Network advisory board, a program operated through the Iowa Department of Human Rights.

Grassroots advocacy has been the hallmark of Claire’s political involvement over the years. When there’s an issue that needs to be solved, Claire gets to work, finds allies and gets it done. She was deeply involved in the movement to ban smoking in public places, has advocated for affordable housing projects in West Des Moines and is very active in making sure that public schools are not privatized in Iowa.

In the Senate, her priorities are preserving and protecting Iowa’s public schools from privatization, restoring reproductive healthcare in Iowa, the civil rights of all Iowans, affordable quality healthcare, clean water and mental healthcare funding.

Claire is the mother of two adult children and the very proud Grandma of five-year-old Mia. 


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Summary bio

Claire Celsi of Polk County

Term: Elected in 2018, Serving first term in the Iowa Senate.

Profession: Marketing and communications business owner.

Education: Graduated from Dowling Catholic High School and Drake University (cum laude) in 2001.

Memberships and Activities: Co-founder of Iowans for Public Education, Member of Historic Valley Junction Foundation Board of Directors, Drake University National Journalism and Mass Communications Advisory Board, Early Childhood Iowa Board, Iowa FADSS Council Board, Latino College Action Network, West Des Moines Democrats, Westside Democrats, Southside Democrats and Iowa Unity Coalition. Past boards and commissions: Young Women’s Resource Center, Iowa Great Places Advisory Board, Iowa Alcoholic Beverages Commission, City of West Des Moines Board of Adjustment, Central Iowa Shelter and Services Board of Directors, and West Des Moines Quality of Life Committee. 2014 Graduate of West Des Moines Leadership Academy. Des Moines Business Record 40 Under 40 recipient.

Birth and Residence: Born in Des Moines, Iowa (1966). Resides in West Des Moines.

Family Members: Two daughters and one grandchild.