Executive Director

James A. Thomas was born in Des Moines, Iowa, in 1939. He is a 1957 honor graduate of East High School in Des Moines where he was president of the student body. He was also president of the Hi-Y Club, played in the school orchestra, was an All City and All Conference Basketball and Baseball athlete and a 1956 member of the All State Football team.

In 1955, Mr. Thomas represented Des Moines at the Centennial Celebration of the founding of the World Alliance of YMCA's in Paris, France. In 1961, he spent the summer in Africa working and studying with African and American young people. Mr. Thomas received a B.A. degree from Wesleyan University in Middletown, Connecticut in June, 1961. He graduated with honors and majored in English with near majors in history and government. He received a law degree from Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut, in 1964, and worked two summers during this time as a legal research assistant with the Civil Rights Division of the Department of Justice. He assisted with a Seminar on American Law and Jurisprudence for the Yale Foreign Student Institute during one summer.

Mr. Thomas worked from June, 1964, to February of 1966 as an attorney in the Civil Rights Division of the United States Department of Justice. He worked in preparation and trial of cases in federal courts involving federal civil rights statutes and Constitutional law. He became a member of the Iowa Bar on June 12, 1964. He was appointed Executive Director of the Iowa Civil Rights Commission on February 1, 1966, at a salary of $8400 a year. He is married and lives in Des Moines, Iowa.

Administrative Director

Donald W. Burger was born in Waukee, Iowa, in 1939. He graduated from Waukee Community High School fifth in the Class of 1957. He was active in school extra-curricular activities including music, athletics, speech and drama. He served as president of his high school class. Mr. Burger received his B.A. degree from Drake University in August of 1962. He majored in political science with near majors in social science, business, and speech. He attended Drake Law School and has done graduate work in economics and education. He was a member of the Drake Concert, Pep, and Marching Bands, a member of the Debate Team, and a member of the Drake Controversy, Cosmopolitan and YD Clubs. He was treasurer and president of Drake and Dallas County Young Democrats Clubs.

Mr. Burger was employed through February, 1964, as an insurance investigator and adjustor to investigate claims in Iowa, Minnesota, Nebraska, North Dakota, and South Dakota. He resigned in January, 1964, to complete teacher's certification requirements at Drake University's Graduate Division. He taught economics at Des Moines Technical High School during the 1964 spring semester. He also taught senior government, economics, world history and American history at Central High School in Aurora, Colorado, during the 1964-1965 school year.

Prior to his appointment on October 7, 1965, Mr. Burger had five cumulative years of office and record management experience and two years of investigation and personnel interview experience. His initial salary was established at $6000 per year.

Confidential Secretary

Miss Darlene Cooper was born in Chicago, Illinois, in 1946. She graduated from Des Moines Technical High School in 1964. In line with her interest in secretarial work, she pursued a stenographic course of study. Miss Cooper continued her education by taking academic courses at Drake University College.

She was employed as a stenographer for the Group Claim Division of Bankers Life Company in Des Moines. Her experience included work in shorthand, machine transcription, and filing. She was employed from September of 1963 through October 31, 1965, by the insurance company. She was appointed Confidential Secretary by the Iowa Civil Rights Commission November 1, 1965, at an annual salary of $3456.

1966 Annual Report Main Page