Executive Director


Executive Director

Dawn Francis

Dawn Francis was hired as the very first Executive Director of the Iowa SILC in March of 2006. At the time she was hired, Dawn did not have a disability herself, but did have a close family member who did. Since the time she was a small child, she grew up in a family that was accepting of disability. Now, as a result of the aging process, Dawn struggles personally with disability issues herself. She is passionate about the Independent Living Movement, helping others, and has worked in the human services field for over 40 years.

Dawn has a BA in social work and a BA in psychology. She has developed, implemented, and managed numerous human and social service programs, and has written and received funding for over $42 million in grants.

Dawn served as the previous Chair of the Iowa Olmstead Consumer Taskforce (OCTF), and she continues to be an OCTF member and is excited about the strong collaboration between the Task Force and the SILC. Dawn is a member of the Rehabilitation Act Task Force through the National Council on Independent Living at the national level.

In her work with the Iowa SILC, Dawn has done outreach and organizing to engage young people with disabilities, as well as others with disabilities, to encourage them to apply for Governor-appointment to the SILC. She also collaborates with groups led by individuals with disabilities to provide both in-kind support and financial assistance from the SILC to assist them with expenses to conduct leadership and advocacy trainings that are presented BY people with disabilities, FOR people with disabilities.

Dawn has two adult daughters and a grandson, and resides in Adel with her significant other, Doug, and their cats, Arabella, Chassi, and Jack Mayhem.