Nora Everett grew up in Des Moines and graduated from Iowa State University in 1981, where she competed on the Women's Swimming and Diving team as a diver and earned Phi Beta Kappa honors. She received her law degree from Willam & Mary Law School and practiced law in Washington D.C. until returning to Iowa in 1989 with her husband, Dave, to raise their kids closer to family.
Ms. Everett worked for over twenty-five years for Principal Financial Group, retiring in 2019. As a lawyer, she led merger and acquisition and litigation teams working across the United States. In 2008, Ms. Everett became President of Principal Funds and in 2010 was promoted to CEO and Board Chair of Principal Funds. She led the development and growth of Principal's mutual fund business, more than doubling in size and earning Barron's Top Three Fund Family award in 2011. In 2015, Ms. Everett was promoted to President of Principal's U.S. retirement businesses, including retirement plan services, annuities, banking and broker-dealer businesses—serving over 40,000 businesses and 6 million individual customers.
Ms. Everett served on Principal's global asset management and international retirement boards in Europe and Asia. Over her career, she championed talent development and diversity efforts at Principal, including co-founding Principal's Women's Network for Leaders and co-chairing Principal's Diversity Council.
Ms. Everett serves as chair of the United Way of Central Iowa board and audit chair for the Community Foundation of Greater Des Moines board. In 2018, she received the Tocqueville Society Award, presented as United Way of Central Iowa's highest honor in recognition of leadership and service to Iowans through United Way.