Working at a refugee center in Athens, Greece, Iowa native Dustin Miller had an epiphany. “Over a meal and a game of backgammon with a Sudanese refugee, it hit me that I’d rather use my mind to affect public policy that impacts people than to simply serve people meals,” he says. “That’s when I decided to go to law school instead of into international development.”
World travels and noteworthy personal experiences have shaped Dustin’s approach to life and law. From community service projects at home and abroad to working in microfinance in Kenya, traveling during upheavals in Beirut, and sailing the English Channel, Dustin gained cultural insights and an appreciation for diversity.
As legislative counsel, Dustin primarily represents Iowa-based associations as a lobbyist at the Iowa Legislature and with the agencies of the State of Iowa. His work involves a wide range of public policy issues, such as water quality, environmental issues, economic development, taxation, public finance, and utilities.
“The trust and relationships Nyemaster has built in more than 90 years in lobby work is paramount,” he says. “We guard that reputation carefully and conduct ourselves with utmost integrity. We are lawyers first and lobbyists second.” Dustin also practices law in the areas of environmental quality, municipalities, and public finance. He works with agricultural, environmental, industrial, and municipal groups in the development of environmental markets.
Dustin believes in doing things affirmatively and is quick to recognize differences or changes and transition effortlessly with them. “Differences don’t bother me. In fact I welcome them,” he says.
He is innovative, thoughtful, and gregarious about his work and is recognized for finding solutions not just identifying problems. “The main reason people come to me is my creativity,” he says. “I’m able to think well outside the bounds of the normal state of things and am solutions-oriented.”
Dustin has applied his passion for community service and public policy since he was a teenager working at church camps and international internships. Before joining the firm, Dustin worked for the Iowa League of Cities and in positions across federal, state, tribal, and international governments. He was director of development and marketing for a nonprofit organization serving the Crow Creek Sioux Indian Reservation and a parliamentary assistant in the House of Commons in London.
Outside the office, he occupies his time with family and tends their large organic garden.
PROFESSIONAL & COMMUNITY AFFILIATIONS
Iowa State Bar Association
Iowa Chamber Alliance
Iowa Business Energy Coalition
SPEECHES & PUBLICATIONS
"City Ordinances, Resolutions & Motions: The Means By Which Cities Take Action"
Iowa Municipal Professionals Institute, Ames, Iowa, July 2020
"Congressional Response to COVID-19 and Overview of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES)"
Iowa State Bar Assocation, Virtual, April 2020
"Small Business Impacts and Resources from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES)"
Iowa Newspaper Association, Virtual, April 2020
“Developing a Market Framework for Agriculture Water Quality Credit Trading in Iowa and Laying the Groundwork for Expansion to the Mississippi River Basin”
ACES Conference: A Community on Ecosystem Services, Washington, D.C., December 2018
“Iowa Nutrient Reduction Exchange”
Iowa League of Cities’ Annual Conference, Council Bluffs, Iowa, September 2018
“Looking Upstream for Water Quality Solutions”
Reverse Field Day at the Iowa City/County Management Association Annual Conference, Storm Lake, Iowa, July 2016
“Federal and State Regulation of Cell Towers in Iowa”
Iowa Chapter of the American Planning Association Annual Conference, Sioux City, Iowa, October 2015
"Why I Chose Iowa"
The Cedar Rapids Gazette, January 22, 2022 (author)
"Opinion: Headlines Don't Capture the Bulk of the Legislature's Work to Benefit Iowans"
The Des Moines Register, March 22, 2021 (author)
"What I Learned from Neil Hamilton About the Important Connection Between Producers, Consumers, and Everyone Along the Way"
24 Drake J. Agric. L. 217, 2019 (co-author with Secretary Thomas J. Vilsack)
“Land to the Tiller Redux: Unlocking Ethiopia’s Land Potential”
13 Drake J. Agric. L. 347, 2008 (co-author)
“Climbing the Mountain: Providing a Vehicle for Banking Services to Kenya’s Rural Farmers”
19 Geo. Int’l Envtl. L. Rev. 783, 2007
"House, Senate Approve Amended Tax Reform Package, Bill Awaits Governor's Signature"
Des Moines Business Record, February 25, 2022
"Iowa Water Quality Funding, Tax Cuts Popular at Hearings"
The Cedar Rapids Gazette, February 1, 2022
"Conservation Groups Celebrate Long-Awaited Outdoors Funding Proposal"
Iowa Capital Dispatch, February 1, 2022
"Senate Passes Bills Addressing 'Cliff Effect,' Doubles Income Eligibility for Child Care Tax Credits"
Des Moines Business Record, May 18, 2021
"Iowa House Approves Tax Credits, Incentives for Child Care Facilities"
Cedar Rapids Gazette, March 9, 2021
"Governor's 'Invest in Iowa Act' Gets First Statehouse Hearing"
Iowa Public Radio, March 5, 2020
"Republican Senators Revisit Controversial 'Religious Freedom' Bill at the Iowa Capitol"
Des Moines Register, February 13, 2020