Growing up, Andrea Jansa was surrounded by Democrats. Every adult in her family was a registered Democrat, and for a long while Jansa said she remained “ignorant” to the influence of politics.

It wasn’t until college that her passion for the political realm started to take shape.

She lived next door to the Johnson County Democratic headquarters and interned there during Barack Obama’s first presidential campaign. After she graduated from the University of Iowa with a degree in political science, she reached out to a former roommate’s father, who was a lobbyist at the Capitol in Des Moines.

The conversation ended with Jansa landing a job as a legislative clerk for Sen. Rob Hogg.

Since then, one thing has led to another, and opportunities have emerged to further Jansa’s career. She was a campaign manager for Tim Hoy’s bid for the House of Representatives, and she also worked for One Iowa, which works toward equality for LGBT citizens, Iowa House Democratic Leader Kevin McCarthy, and LS2group, a public relations and marketing firm with political expertise, before assuming her current role.

Jansa said she likes “the ever-changing climate here. It’s an exciting place to be, and I couldn’t imagine going to work anywhere else.”

Outside of work, Jansa founded a group called Lead Like a Lady, which brings together female leaders at monthly breakfast events and happy hours in order to build professional relationships with one another in an effort to foster career advancement.

Jansa also serves on the boards of several local nonprofits. At Orchard Place, she mentors young girls and enjoys doing that because she said it keeps her grounded.

“I was privileged and lucky I didn’t have to go through what they do, and it just reminds me that not everyone is so fortunate,” Jansa said. “Those are really the people we should focus our attention on. They’re the people we should care about because they need it most.”

Reasons she’s a Forty:

 • Worked as a legislative assistant responsible for policy, scheduling and constituent work, and helped pass two pieces of legislation in 2012

• Co-founded Lead Like a Lady, a networking group connecting female leaders through monthly breakfast events and happy hours

• Served on boards for the Des Moines Park and Recreation Department, New Leaders Council, Dawn’s List, Des Moines Young Professionals Connection and Orchard Place Foundation

• Recipient of the 2009 Dawn’s List Rising Star Award

• Member of the 2012-13 Greater Des Moines Leadership Institute