Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Nissen accepts position at Fresh Energy

Will Nissen (MPP '09) recently joined Fresh Energy to pursue research, advocacy, and outreach work on clean energy and energy efficiency policy in Minnesota. He looks forward to transforming widely held economic and environment ideals into smart energy policies that guarantee the long-term health of people and their communities. Will also writes on energy issues as a fellow at Minnesota 2020.

Connect with Will: nissen@fresh-energy.org


Baltazar accepts position at the U.S. Embassy in Dublin

baltazar.jpgSince June, James Baltazar (MURP '10) has been a Presidential Management Fellow (PMF) in the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Field Policy and Management with the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). The Office of Field Policy and Management provides direction and oversight for regional administrators and field office directors. The office communicates priorities and policies of the Secretary to these managers, as well as providing operational feedback to constructively influence program design and departmental policy making.

Baltazar currently works with the HUD Minnesota field office director in Minneapolis to find permanent housing for local homeless veterans, collaborating with several members of the Minnesota Federal Executive Board to find permanent employment for veterans and implementing technology enhancements, including digital signatures, electronic contracts, and a customized digital training program for onboarding employees.

Baltazar has accepted a PMF rotation as a foreign affairs officer with the Department of State at the U.S. Embassy in Dublin, Ireland, from January to July, 2013. He will be responsible for following and reporting on U.S. government priority issues during the Irish Presidency of the European Union. Key issues include data privacy, comprehensive trade agreement negotiations, environmental affairs, and budgetary decisions. Baltazar will support U.S. delegations traveling to Dublin for meetings, and coordinate with the U.S. Mission to the EU, the State Department, and other federal agencies.

Connect with James: jamesbaltazar@gmail.com


Thursday, December 13, 2012

Dettmann joins WaterAid

In September, Marc Dettmann (MPP '09) joined WaterAid America as a researcher. Based in New York City, WaterAid works to give people all over the world access to safe water and sanitation. WaterAid has programs in 27 countries and works with local partners to provide them with the skills and support to help communities set up and manage practical and sustainable projects. Prior to beginning his position with WaterAid, Dettmann was a research consultant at Thrivent Financial for Lutherans.


Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Kinders will chair 2014 task force

KINDERS_MARK.jpgMark Kinders (MPA '00), the vice president for public affairs at the University of Central Oklahoma, was selected as chair-elect of a higher education task force that sponsors a nationwide conference on public higher education government relations.

The Higher Education Government Relations Conference brings public policy advocates, presidents, regents, and other higher education leaders together to discuss state and national trends generated by governors, state legislators, Congress, and the federal administration. During the three-day annual conference, attendees are updated on federal and state public policy initiatives, global challenges, and best practices of universities and colleges in order to improve America's global competitiveness through higher education.

The national task force, which also recognizes exemplary contributions by higher education policy advocates, is comprised of 20 representatives from four higher education associations: the American Association of State Colleges and Universities, representing regional four-year institutions; the Association of Public and Land-Grant Universities, comprised of doctoral research institutions; the American Association of Community Colleges; and the Council for the Advancement of Support of Education, whose membership includes more than 4,000 public and private higher education institutions in 29 nations. Collectively, the four associations represent more than 14.9 million students at America's public universities and colleges.

Kinders will chair the task force as it establishes its 2014 conference agenda.

Connect with Mark: mkinders@uco.edu


Becker to research rural multimodal transportation

Carol Becker (MA '87) received a grant in September from the Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT), which will allow her to explore multimodal transportation options for rural and small urban locations. She will spend the next year and a half researching existing initiatives for multimodal travel in rural contexts and then prepare recommendations for future multimodal programs. Becker is a research associate at the Humphrey School.

Connect with Carol: cjbecker@umn.edu

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Sherman co-authors book on nonprofit organizational management

Anne Sherman (MA '93) co-authored Building Nonprofit Capacity: A Guide to Managing Change Through Organizational Lifecycles (Jossey-Bass, 2012). Sherman is the vice president for nonprofit strategy at Growth Philanthropy Network (GPN) in New York City. Before joining GPN in March, Sherman was the director of strategy at the TCC Group.

Connect with Anne:


Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Tock hired as associate director of the International Fellowships Program

RosaTock 1-thumb-150x150-139741.pngRosa Tock (MPP '01) will start December 3, 2012, as associate coordinator for the International Fellowships Program at the Humphrey School of Public Affairs. Tock originally is from Guatemala, where she worked as an elementary school teacher, a university administrator, a political analyst, and a consultant for national and international organizations. In Minnesota, she worked for the City of Saint Paul as a human rights investigator, for state agencies on legislative issues and community outreach with diverse populations, and as a planner for a federal grant in the area of special education. Tock was awarded a Fulbright Fellowship, selected as a Policy Fellow at the Humphrey School, and has served on different boards in the nonprofit sector. She currently is a trustee of the Women's Foundation of Minnesota and writes a biweekly column on current events for a Guatemalan e-magazine. In her spare time, she enjoys reading, traveling, and playing volleyball.

Tock recently was featured in the Daily Planet.

Connect with Rosa: rosatock@gmail.com


Emerson to lead Goff Public's lobbying effort

ElizabethEmerson.jpgElizabeth Emerson (MPP '02) is now the director of government relations at Goff Public, where she helps lead the organization's lobbying team. In this role, Emerson integrates grassroots, legislative advocacy, and public relations tactics into effective campaigns which protect clients' interests and reputations at the State Capitol. Emerson also is a registered lobbyist who sets strategy, drafts legislation, communicates clients' positions to key decision makers, prepares testimony, and monitors legislative proceedings. She will lobby on a variety of issue areas, including specialties in commerce, regulated industries, and workforce development.

Emerson previously worked as a lobbyist for Lockridge Grindal Nauen, a Minneapolis-based law firm. From 2006 to 2012, Emerson served as a commissioner for St. Paul's Human Rights and Equal Economic Opportunity Commission and was a part of the League of Minnesota Human Rights Commission.

Connect with Elizabeth: Elizabeth@goffpublic.com


Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Anderson joins MnDOT

m_anderson.jpgIn May, Mei-Ling Anderson (MURP '10) joined the Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT) in the Office of Capital Programs and Performance Measures as a senior transportation planner. The Office of Capital Programs and Performance Measures oversees planning and programming for capital improvement projects that take place on the state highway system, and also reports on agency-wide performance management data.

Since beginning the position, Anderson primarily has worked on the project team for the Minnesota 20-Year State Highway Investment Plan (MnSHIP). This summer, Anderson collaborated with other MnDOT offices to define different levels of investment and corresponding outcomes for state highways over the next 20 years. She also worked extensively in developing outreach materials for the plan (such as graphics, written material, and formatted handouts) and in distributing this information through webinars, social media, and MnDOT's website. Many of these efforts culminated in a month-long public engagement process that took place this fall, during which Anderson's team traveled throughout the state to facilitate scenario planning exercises with the public to solicit their feedback.

Anderson and her team are now in the process of summarizing the input they received at these meetings; MnDOT will consider the public's input as it decides how to prioritize its investment in future highway projects. She writes, "I have really enjoyed working with a variety of people and blending creativity, data analysis, and collaborative problem-solving on a daily basis."

Connect with Mei-Ling: mei-ling.anderson@state.mn.us


Franzen wins Minnesota Senate seat

On Tuesday, November 6, Melisa Lopez Franzen (MPP '01) was elected to the Minnesota State Senate for District 49 (Edina/Bloomington). She defeated GOP incumbent Keith Downey. Franzen ran on a platform that focused on education, jobs, and clean energy. She is an attorney with Target Corporation.

Schmit elected to the Minnesota Senate

Former Humphrey School student Matt Schmit (MPP '03) was elected to the Minnesota State Senate for District 21 (Redwing) on Tuesday, November 6. Schmit beat out Republican incumbent John Howe. Schmit plans to focus on job growth, school district sustainability, and local property tax relief. Schmit has worked with the Minnesota Senate K-12 Education Finance Committee, created his own public policy consulting firm, P3Strategies, and has worked with the Humphrey School's State and Local Policy Program as a research assistant.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Bobbitt begins position with Washington State Department of Transportation

Bradley Bobbitt (MURP '10) began a position with the Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) on August 27, 2012, as a transportation data analyst. WSDOT manages and operates Washington's state highway, freight and passenger rail, and ferries systems. WSDOT is considered a national leader among state DOTs in such areas as implementation of new traffic management technologies, ferry systems operation (Washington State Ferries is the largest ferry system in the country), and performance management.

Bobbitt works as a member of WSDOT's strategic assessment office (SAO), which is responsible for performance reporting on all WSDOT activities to the state legislature, governor's office, and the general public. In his role at the SAO, Bobbitt collaborates with staff from other offices within WSDOT to create quarterly and annual reports on topics ranging from project compliance with the Endangered Species Act to how effective new High Occupancy Toll lanes have been at reducing congestion on Interstate Highway 5. He also serves as the office's mapping and geographic information systems expert.

Since moving to Olympia, Washington, Bobbitt has seen jellyfish, harbor seals, the Hoh Rainforest, the Olympic Mountains, leaping salmon, sad Washingtonians writing poetry on rainy windows, Seattle's Pike Place Market, and the San Juan Islands.

Connect with Bradley: bobbitb@wsdot.wa.gov


Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Milgrom begins job at West Side Community Health Services

MarshaMilgrom.jpgMarsha Milgrom (MPA '05) recently joined West Side Community Health Services (WSCHS) as development director. With 18 primary health clinics serving St. Paul residents in community, high school, shelter, and public housing sites, WSCHS provides care to uninsured and underinsured adults and children and is the largest Federally Qualified Health Center in the state. Milgrom is a member of the management team, overseeing a department responsible for strategic funds development, grants, and needs assessment. Additional responsibilities include board and community relations, constituent engagement, advocacy, and data/process quality improvement. Prior to her position at West Side Community Health Services, Milgrom was the resource development contract manager in Dakota County's Community Services Division.

Connect with Marsha: mmilgrom@msn.com


Thursday, October 25, 2012

Johnson recognized for her work in the community

aara_johnson.jpgAara Johnson (MPP '09) will be honored as one of the 2012 Ten Outstanding Young Minnesotans (TOYM) at a ceremony in December hosted by the Minnesota Jaycees. For the past 60 years, the TOYM program has recognized young leaders who have devoted themselves to bettering their communities. Johnson currently is a manager at Noodles & Company in St. Paul. In her spare time, she volunteers as a research coordinator for Educate Tanzania, a nonprofit based in Chaska, Minnesota, that forms partnerships to share resources and professional expertise so that people in developing communities can have improved access to education, clean water, and health services. She also teaches English as a Second Language (ESL) at Comunidades Latinos Unidos en Servicio (CLUES) in Minneapolis. Additionally, she is the research chair for the Basilica of St. Mary's Global Stewardship Team. In this role, Johnson focuses on sustainable agriculture in developing countries. She plans to enter the Peace Corps in May 2013, teaching ESL in Eastern Europe.

Connect with Aara: aarajohnson@gmail.com


Thursday, October 11, 2012

Bernard continues consulting work for the International Center for Journalists

danielbernard.jpgIn June, Daniel Bernard (MPA '05) left Egypt after seven years of working on international development projects. Bernard served as Egypt country director for the International Center for Journalists (ICFJ), an independent professional association implementing a U.S.-funded program to train journalists from throughout the Middle East and North Africa. ICFJ and other U.S.-affiliated organizations have been pressured to cease operations by a faction in the transitional government seeking to discourage foreign funding of non-governmental organizations.

Bernard has relocated to Chapel Hill, North Carolina, with his wife and three sons. Bernard continues to work as a consultant for ICFJ and is exploring opportunities among the universities and international aid contractors in the Research Triangle area.

Connect with Daniel: danielbernard@gmail.com

Longnecker joins the Bureau of Industry and Security's Operating Committee at the U.S. Department of Commerce

On July 2, 2012, Eric Longnecker (MPP '94) became the acting chairman of the Bureau of Industry and Security's (BIS) Operating Committee at the U.S. Department of Commerce. The Operating Committee is part of the dispute resolution process for BIS's responsibility for licensing dual-use exports as outlined in Executive Order 12981. Dual-use items are those that have primarily a civilian end-use, but also could have a military or proliferation-related end-use. In this role, Longnecker chairs a weekly meeting of the committee with representatives from the Departments of Defense, State, Energy, and Commerce to discuss cases in need of resolution. Cases go before the Operating Committee when the agencies cannot agree on a final position at the staff level. As chair, Longnecker hears each agency's views and makes a decision on the license application based upon all available information and in compliance with the Export Administration Regulations.

Longnecker's appointment to this position is a one-year detail. Since March 2008, Longnecker had been the Director of BIS's Strategic Analysis Division. In this role, Longnecker led a team of seven analysts that was responsible for several defense industrial base-related programs. Primary among these programs was review of transactions submitted by the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS), which looks at foreign acquisitions of U.S. companies that could have national security implications.

Longnecker has been with BIS since November, 2004. His prior experiences include positions with the U.S.-Saudi Arabian Business Council, The Brookings Institution, and Conservation International.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Tuloko receives honors at Minnesota Cup

toloko.jpgTuloko, a local start-up co-created last February by Humphrey School student, Duane Johnson (MPP '10), was recently declared the winner of the Mosaic Social Entrepreneur Division of the Minnesota Cup. The Social Entrepreneur Division of the Minnesota Cup seeks out, supports, and celebrates Minnesota's most innovative and effective social entrepreneurs and the organizations they lead. To be eligible to enter the Social Entrepreneur division, the organization must be a registered corporation that serves people in Minnesota and whose primary purpose is a social mission, rather than generating a profit.

With its slogan, "Make Everyday Black Friday," Tuloko is a website and smartphone application that provides users a list of businesses that are owned by black entrepreneurs. The site and app also list events, organizations, and historical landmarks specific to the black community. Users of this technology can write reviews of businesses in six metro areas: Minneapolis/St. Paul, Atlanta, Chicago, New York, Oakland, and Washington, DC. One goal of Tuloko is to decrease unemployment rates in black communities across the nation by gathering and sustaining support for black-owned businesses. Johnson will use the $20,000 in prize money from the Minnesota Cup to continue developing Tuloko's technology assets.

Connect with Duane: john2486@umn.edu
Check out Tuloko: www.tuloko.com


Thursday, September 27, 2012

Werde named president of Affiance Coaching

WerdeErin.jpgErin Werde (MPP '07) is the new president of Affiance Coaching. In this role, Werde oversees all of Affiance Coaching's fiscal operations, marketing, and strategic planning. As president, Werde also dedicates herself to establishing and developing key relationships with clients. Previously, Werde was the capital campaign project manager at Camp Fire USA, Minnesota Council.


Asche accepts position with the Center for Small Towns

KAsche.jpgKelly Asche (MPP '10) is the program coordinator at the University of Minnesota-Morris Center for Small Towns. The Center for Small Towns provides services for communities with populations less than 5,000. These services include community development and support; data analysis and research; evaluation; convening and facilitation; and brokering resources (faculty and students) within the University of Minnesota system. Asche works with small communities to identify their needs in order to connect them with University resources. Asche's favorite aspect of his job is traveling around around the state to meet local officials and nonprofit representatives, visit farmers markets, and eat in cafes.

Asche lives in Hancock, Minnesota, where he tends to a tremendous garden (dozen pepper plants!), practices his mandolin skills at a bluegrass jam every Thursday evening, and rides his bicycle on the back roads.

Connect with Kelly: kasche@morris.umn.edu

Blanks leads theater company in Liberia

JBlanks.jpgJasmine Blanks (MPP '08) is now the executive director of B4--Burning Barriers, Building Bridges--Youth Theatre in Monrovia, Liberia. In August, B4 Youth Theatre premiered Rights of a Child, a play written by students from the Children's Rescue Outreach Center Orphanage Mission in Sinkor, Monrovia. The play was written as a tribute to the passing of the Liberia Children's Law.

B4 Youth Theatre helps children advocate for themselves using the tools of the performing arts. Since 2010, more than 120 children have taken classes in music, dance and theater, producing three original plays that have been performed for audiences across greater Monrovia, Liberia. Leading government officials, including the President of Liberia, have been in attendance at their performances. The children have also played a large part in educating the wider community about issues pertaining to basic human rights for children. All of the issues the children have presented in their plays over the years have been addressed in the Liberia Children's Law that was passed this year. B4 Youth Theatre is planning to expand to five locations in 2013 by training young adults to implement this program model.

A display with more information will be set up at the The World Conference on Remedies to Racial and Ethnic Economic Inequality through the Wilkins Center at the Humphrey School; Blanks will be available to answer questions.

Connect with Jasmine: B4YouthTheatre@gmail.com
Check out B4 Youth Theatre's blog: burningbarriersliberia.wordpress.com


Lindstrom joins League of Minnesota Cities

In August, Ann Lindstrom (MPP '07) accepted a position with the League of Minnesota Cities as a lobbyist. She continues to be the campaign manager for Representative Jim Davnie who is running for reelection in District 63A. Prior to her position with the League, Lindstrom was the prevention policy director at the Minnesota Department of Human Services, Minnesota Sex Offender Program.


Gadwa Nicodemus makes list of most powerful and influential leaders in nonprofit arts

gadwaheadshotval.jpgAnne Gadwa Nicodemus, (MURP '07) principal at Metris Arts Consulting, and Ann Markusen, Professor Emerita at the Humphrey School, were recently nominated and selected as two of the 50 most powerful and influential leaders in nonprofit arts; they were recognized as top "policy wonks" in the field. This is the fifth annual list produced by Barry's Blog, a service of the Western States Arts Federation.

Their joint paper, "Arts and Culture in Urban and Regional Planning: A Review and Research Agenda," Journal of Planning Education and Research, 2010, was the most downloaded of JPER articles published in 2009 and 2010. Gadwa Nicodemus and Markusen most recently collaborated on California's Arts and Cultural Ecology for the James Irvine Foundation, 2011.

Gadwa Nicodemus speaks widely on creative placemaking, artist spaces, and how to measure and communicate arts and culture's impact on communities. She gives frequent talks at universities, professional and academic conferences, and foundation convenings. This November she will be presenting at the Chinese Creative Industries Forum in Macau, China. For more information and to download publications visit metrisarts.com.

Connect with Anne: gadwa@metrisarts.com


Peters joins Imagining America

In August, Scott Peters (MA '93) was named co-director of Imagining America (IA), a consortium of organizations and universities dedicated to advancing the public and civic purposes of humanities, arts, and design. In his role as co-director, Peters serves as a professor in the Cultural Foundations of Education Department at Syracuse University's School of Education. He also is a faculty affiliate with the Program for the Advancement of Research on Conflict and Collaboration at the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs.

Peters has spent his career researching the intersections between higher education and democracy. He most recently published Democracy and Higher Education: Traditions and Stories of Civic Engagement (Michigan State University Press, 2010). Peters also is an associate professor of education at Cornell University.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Small begins work with Jesuit Refugee Services

Mary Small.jpgMary Small (MPP '10) is the assistant director for advocacy at Jesuit Refugee Services in Washington, D.C., where she is responsible for issues affecting forced migrants in North, Central, and South America. Small primarily focuses on Colombian refugees and internally displaced persons, stateless persons of Haitian descent in the Dominican Republic, U.S.-Mexico border issues, and conditions in U.S. immigrant detention facilities. Continuing her previous work, Small also provides evaluation consulting to the Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation. Additionally, she volunteers at CASA de Maryland's Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals Legal Clinic and with Amnesty International to educate and mobilize Maryland voters about a November 2012 ballot initiative to affirm the Maryland DREAM Act.

Connect with Mary: mary.jordan.small@gmail.com


Yeo accepts position with Project Malawi

Sarah Yeo (MPP '10) is a program evaluation officer for Project Malawi, an organization that works towards HIV/AIDS prevention. Yeo writes that Project Malawi plans to expand its services to include research on Malaria and maternal-child health.

Bai begins work at UMN's China Center

Mandy Xue Bai (MPP '05) joined the University of Minnesota's China Center as assistant director in June. In this position, she focuses on corporate engagement and community outreach. Previously, Bai was the global enrichment program manager for the Carlson School of Management.


Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Swenson now communications advisor to Gov. Dayton

MSwenson.jpgMatt Swenson (MPP '07) serves as communications advisor to Governor Mark Dayton. Swenson is responsible for communication strategy, planning, and messaging.

Prior to joining Governor Dayton's staff, Swenson served as Director of Communications for the Minnesota Department of Commerce where he advised Commissioner Mike Rothman and department leadership on communication strategy and served as the commissioner's chief speech writer.

Nguyen joins the Northside Achievement Zone

ANguyen.jpgIn July 2012, Angelina Nguyen (MDP '10) started her position as Housing Navigator with the Northside Achievement Zone (NAZ), a nonprofit whose mission is to build a culture of achievement in a geographic zone in North Minneapolis to ensure that all children graduate from high school college-ready. Nguyen is responsible for collecting and channeling housing resources to NAZ families, working with each family to ensure affordable, dignified, and stable housing appropriate to their specific circumstances and needs. She trains and supports NAZ Connectors to improve families with access to housing resources and serves as a liaison between NAZ and its 50 partners.

Connect with Angelina: anguyen@the-naz.org


Fink awarded juris doctor degree

MFink.jpgMichael H. Fink (MPA '07) received a juris doctor degree cum laude from the New England School of Law in Boston on May 25, 2012.

A Dean's List student and a New England Scholar, Fink also was the recipient of a CALI Excellence for the Future Award for Contracts. He was a class representative, a member of the Student Bar Association and the Law Day Committee, and a volunteer for the Center for Public Health and Tobacco Policy. Fink completed internships at the Harvard Legal Aid Bureau, the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination, and the Massachusetts Department of Housing and Community Development.

Prior to attending the New England School of Law, Fink was the president and owner of the Minneapolis-based company, GWS Promotional Product Solutions, Inc.

Fink hopes to establish a practice in the Twin Cities in domestic relations and business litigation; he plans to serve as a volunteer in public interest law areas such as child protection, juvenile law, and consumer protection.

Connect with Michael: finkx113@umn.edu

Butler begins position with the Ministry of Gender and Development in Liberia

As a JSI Scott Fellow, Aurelius Butler (MDP '10) is now the special advisor to the Minister at the Ministry of Gender and Development in Liberia. In this position, he provides senior Liberian government officials with policy, speech writing, and administrative support. Butler conducted his MDP field experience in Liberia, where he and his team focused on a monitoring and evaluation project.

Anderson begins work with VTC Enterprises

In Janurary, Jerid Anderson (MPP '04) accepted a position as a one-on-one instructor at VTC Enterprises. Based in Santa Monica, VTC Enterprises is a nonprofit organization that provides training and job opportunities to people with disabilities.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Zhao hired as a budgeting analyst at Cirrus Aircraft

In July, Yizhuo (Serene) Zhao (MDP '10) began working as a budgeting analyst at Cirrus Aircraft in Duluth, Minnesota. Zhao's responsibilities include conducting cost-benefit analyses and budget forecasting. She writes, "What I learned in graduate school is helpful in my current work. The company merged with a Chinese general aircraft company last year, so it is interesting to have exposure to both cultures and business operations in the United States and China."

Connect with Serene: szhao@cirrusaircraft.com