Sally Pederson

Born:January 13, 1951 (age 73)
Career:Lieutenant Governor of Iowa, 1999-2007
Education:Iowa State University

Sally Pederson served as Iowa's 45th lieutenant governor from 1999 to 2007. 

A native of Vinton, Iowa, Pederson was born January 13, 1951. She graduated from Iowa State University in 1973. Following, she became an executive at Meredith Corporation in Des Moines, Iowa, and served as the senior food editor for Better Homes and Gardens.

As lieutenant governor, Pederson advocated for individuals with disabilities and led the Vilsack-Pederson administration's initiatives for health care and human services. She worked to expand access to health care for children, ensure fair prices of prescription drugs for senior citizens, boost Iowa's Medicare payments from the federal government and create a wide variety of accessible living options for people with disabilities. In March 2003, Pederson hosted Iowa's first statewide Summit on Disability Housing.

Over the course of her career, Pederson has served as president of Polk County Health Services, board president for the Autism Society of Iowa, and was the founding president of The Homestead Living and Learning Center for Adults with Autism. She has served on the board of directors of Blank Children's Hospital, The Des Moines Playhouse, Very Special Arts Iowa, YWCA Aliber Child Care Center, the YMCA Central Branch, the Des Moines Metro Opera, and the State Special Education Advisory Panel, the National Alliance for Autism Research, the Mid-Iowa Health Foundation, and Legacy 150. Pederson is a co-founder and chair of the advisory board for REACH (Realizing Education and Career Hopes), a college program for students with disabilities at the University of Iowa. Most recently, Pederson has served as co-chair of Justice Not Politics, an organization that aims to protect Iowa's fair and impartial courts and keep money and politics out of judicial system.

Pederson received the 2003 John F. Sanford Award from the Iowa Medical Society in recognition of her efforts to improve health care quality in Iowa. In August 2004, she was inducted into the Iowa Women's Hall of Fame.


Iowa Department of Human Rights (n.d.). “Sally J. Pederson” Iowa Department of Human Rights. Retrieved November 7, 2022.