Monday, December 2, 2013

Hampton takes position at the Ford School

Heather Hampton.jpgHeather Hampton (MPP '06) joined the Ford School of Public Policy at the University of Michigan as a business intelligence analyst in August 2013. In this role, she analyzes data to develop meaningful and useful information for business purposes.

Heather also recently started a baking blog called Sweet Precision. It's a collection of recipes with everything from Italian cream cupcakes to cappuccino cookies.

Linkedin_icon.jpg Connect with Heather on LinkedIn or leave a comment on her blog.

Downtown Council names Cramer as new CEO

SteveCramer_280.jpgSteve Cramer (MA '79) has been selected as the new president and CEO of the Minneapolis Downtown Council and the Minneapolis Downtown Improvement District. He begins the position on December 2, 2013.

Steve has served as the president and executive director of Minneapolis-based Project for Pride in Living (PPL) since 2003. He currently serves as chair of the Minnesota Ballpark Authority, the public entity that owns Target Field, and sits on the Metropolitan Airports Commission. Steve also served on the Minneapolis City Council from 1984 to 1993.

Read the full Twin Cities Business article.

Photo courtesy of the Minneapolis Downtown Council.

Clift selected as "Champion of Change"

Clift.jpgEarlier this summer, Steven Clift (MA '91) was selected as a Champion of Change winner. The White House Champion of Change for Transformative Civic Engagement award recognized 15 local leaders across the nation working to build participation in our democratic processes while using new technologies and engaging less represented communities via open government and civic hacking.

Steven launched, the world's first election information website in 1994. His "government by day, citizen by night" insights were built as leader of the State of Minnesota's first e-government initiative. He has spoken across 30 countries for over a decade from Estonia to Libya to Mongolia on open government and civic participation to support non-partisan, volunteer-powered efforts for inclusive online local democracy.

View the clips, press releases, and Steven's official White House blog post.

Skrebes interviewed by The New York Times

Robyn J. Skrebes (MPP '06) was recently interviewed by The New York Times in an October 8, 2013 article on the topic of health insurance exchanges and her experience with the state-run insurance exchange in Minnesota, MNsure.

"Robyn J. Skrebes of Minneapolis said she was able to sign up for health insurance in about two hours on Monday using the Web site of the state-run insurance exchange in Minnesota, known as MNsure. Ms. Skrebes, who is 32 and uninsured, said she had selected a policy costing $179 a month, before tax credit subsidies, and also had obtained Medicaid coverage for her 2-year-old daughter, Emma.

"I am thrilled," Ms. Skrebes said, referring to her policy. "It's affordable, good coverage. And the Web site of the Minnesota exchange was pretty simple to use, pretty straightforward. The language was really clear."

Read the full article on The New York Times website.

Omari featured in CE+HD Profile

Omari.jpgAbdul M. Omari (MPP '08) grew up in south Minneapolis, just ten minutes from the University of Minnesota. Yet the first time he came to campus was for freshman orientation in 2004.

Now, almost a decade later, Omari is deeply connected to the University. He completed his bachelor's degree in global studies in the College of Liberal Arts with a minor in African and African-American studies, then earned a master's of public policy from the Humphrey School of Public Affairs. Now in the College of Education and Human Development, he is a Ph.D. candidate in comparative and international development education.

Last spring, Omari was elected to the University Board of Regents.

"This is the place where dreams come true," he says. "That's what I tell people all of the time and people laugh, but I mean it."

Read the original feature on the College of Education + Human Development's website.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Humphrey Alumni Named to Dean's Advisory Council

Three Humphrey alumni, Jay Kiedrowski (MA '71), Paul Stembler (MA '75), and Eric Anderson (MA '85), were recently named to the Humphrey School of Public Affairs Advisory Council at the University of Minnesota, including former State Department official and College of Liberal Arts alumnus, Thomas Nides, and Law School alumnus, Hubert "Skip" Humphrey.

The advisory council, made up of dozens of prominent people from the political, business and legal worlds, advises Dean Eric Schwartz on policies and programs.

Read the MinnPost article.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Dahlberg formally announces U.S. Senate campaign

Chris Dahlberg.jpgOn September 26, 2013, Chris Dahlberg (MA '98) formally kicked off his U.S. Senate campaign to challenge incumbent U.S. Senator Al Franken.

An excerpt from Politics Now article:

"Dahlberg is positioning himself as a candidate with crossover appeal who can win a statewide election. He stresses his track record of winning elections in the DFL stronghold of St. Louis County, which includes Duluth.

"We need to appeal to a wider range of voters," Dahlberg said in a statement announcing his candidacy. "Any credible Republican can get support in strong Republican districts, but what good does that do? We need a candidate who's not only a strong fiscal conservative, but one who has also proven an ability to appeal to Democrats and independents."

Philbrook named "Ambassador for Peace"

Bud_Philbrook.jpgBurnham "Bud" Philbrook (MA '79), Global Volunteers CEO and Co-founder, has been named "Ambassador for Peace" by the International Institute for Peace Through Tourism (IIPT). Philbrook, an internationally recognized leader in public policy and engagement, earned a Bachelor of Arts in political science from the College of Liberal Arts at the University of Minnesota, a Master of Arts with concentrations in international economic development and public administration from the Humphrey School of Public Affairs, and a Juris Doctorate, cum laude, from Hamline University School of Law.

In accepting his award at the World Travel Market in London, Philbrook stated: "I am deeply honored to receive IIPT's prestigious Ambassador for Peace award. During the past 30 years, Global Volunteers has engaged over 30,000 volunteers serving in 32 countries on six continents. Each volunteer has served a local community, emphasizing the needs of children. I accept this award on behalf of all those volunteers, because they are the true ambassadors for peace."

Global Volunteers caught the attention of IIPT in 2012 for its St. Lucia Project - an ambitious development project to demonstrate the long-lasting benefit of short-term volunteers in partner communities. The St. Lucia Project pairs largely North American volunteers with local people on the Caribbean island to provide "essential services" to at-risk children and families to elevate the health, nutrition and educational attainment of young students - thereby helping to advance the nation's general IQ levels.

Philbrook is a former Deputy Under Secretary at the United States Department of Agriculture, where he was responsible for food security and agricultural trade issues. He is a former member of the Minnesota House of Representatives, and former Assistant Commissioner for the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources. Philbrook was an administrative lawyer in Minnesota from 1983 until he closed his practice to lead the Global Volunteers staff full time in 1994. He initiated the concept of engaging private individuals from developed countries as short-term volunteers serving communities in developing countries. USA Today identified Global Volunteers as the "Granddaddy" of this movement.

Global Volunteers works in special consultative status with the United Nations and in partnership with U.N. agencies UNICEF and the World Food Programme to engage short-term volunteers on long-term projects to create, nurture and sustain the well-being of the world's children - so they can realize the full promise of their human potential.

Friday, November 15, 2013

Mendis authors new book

UPA Cover Front in JPEG.jpgPatrick Mendis (MA '84) has authored another book, Peaceful War. He is a distinguished senior fellow in the School of Public Policy at George Mason University. He is also an affiliate professor of public and international affairs as well as an adjunct professor of geography and geoinformation science.

Synopsis of his new book:

This book provides an epic analysis of the unfolding drama between the clashing forces of the Chinese dream and American destiny. Just as the American experiment evolved, Deng Xiaoping's China has been using "Hamiltonian means to Jeffersonian ends" and borrowed the founding idea of the American Dream as a model for China's "peaceful rise." With a possible "fiscal cliff" in America and a "social cliff" in China, the author revisits the history of Sino-American relations to explore the prospects for a return to the long-forgotten Beijing-Washington love affair. The real question is: will China ultimately evolve into a democratic nation by rewriting the American Dream in Chinese characters, and how might this transpire?

Visit Patrick's website.

Humpage joins Mathematica Policy Research

SHumpage.jpgSarah Humpage (MPP '04) recently began working as a researcher at Mathematica Policy Research in Washington, D.C., after completing her Ph.D. in Applied Economics at the University of Minnesota. Mathematica is a research firm with over 1,000 employees in offices in 6 cities around the U.S.

Sarah began researching education in developing countries while working with her Humphrey adviser, Ed Schuh. She continued that work with her adviser in Applied Economics, Paul Glewwe, and will now continue that work with Mathematica's new Center for International Policy Research and Evaluation.

Connect with Sarah via email.

Slawik wins mayoral race in Maplewood, MN

Nora Slawik.jpgFormer Minnesota legislator and Humphrey alumna, Nora Slawik (MPA '05), won the mayoral race in Maplewood, MN on November 5.

Slawik won about 67 percent of the vote Tuesday night with all precincts reporting. Her opponent, Diana Longrie, garnered about 32 percent, according to unofficial results.

"I am humbled and I am honored, and I am looking forward to working hard for the citizens of Maplewood and moving us toward a positive path," Slawik said.

Read the full article.

Patterson joins CPED

image001.jpgKylie Patterson (MPP '11) recently started working at Community Planning and Economic Development as an employment and training employee. Her most recent work experience was with the City of Minneapolis' STEP-UP program working as an intern on a variety of youth projects.

In addition to her master's of Public Policy degree, Kylie holds a Public Policy and International Affairs Certificate from Princeton University's Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International affairs as well as a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science and African American Studies from Temple University.

Kylie grew up in Bushkill, PA; however she has lived in multiple cities including San Diego, CA, Bangor, ME, Washington, DC, Silver Spring, MD and now Minneapolis, MN. Kylie's career spans work in both the policy and workforce development fields. She has worked for the Council of State Governments, the Pew Charitable Trusts, HIRED and EMERGE Community Development.

Connect with Kylie on LinkedIn.


Monday, November 11, 2013

Wu contributes to the Huffington Post

Brandon Wu.jpgBrandon Wu (MPP '10) recently contributed to the Huffington Post with an article titled "Fighting for the Soul of Climate Finance". Brandon is is a senior policy analyst at ActionAid USA. He leads AAUSA's work on international climate change policy, particularly the need for climate finance to help developing countries adapt to the impacts of climate change. He also works on tax justice issues.

"As UN climate talks kick off in Poland this week, arguments about money are likely to take center stage. That's nothing new, as the annual conference enters its nineteenth year. But this year's twist to a familiar tale -- concerns about a lack of money to assist developing countries in dealing with the climate crisis -- is a strategic shift by rich countries to a more fundamental, and troublesome, debate about what even counts as 'climate finance'."

Read the full article.

Breitbarth welcomes baby boy

James.jpgOn July 10, 2013, James Timothy Breitbarth was born to Tim (MPP '03) and his wife. He weighed 7 pounds 8 ounces and was 20.25 inches long at birth. Tim is a business operations specialist at Millennium Challenge Corporation. The family lives in Washington, DC.

Monday, November 4, 2013

Lundquist passes away after battle with ovarian cancer

Rhonda Lundquist (MA '86), of Falcon Heights, died at home on Oct. 23 from ovarian cancer. She was 54. Rhonda and her partner of 16 years, Ann DeGroot, were the first same-sex couple to apply for a Ramsey County marriage license. On Aug. 1, the day hundreds of MN gay couples celebrated their legal marriages, they received news that Rhonda's cancer had spread to her brain. On Aug. 4th, Rhonda and Ann were married in a private ceremony surrounded by family and friends.

Originally from St. Cloud, Rhonda took action to address social needs, from affordable housing to domestic violence. She worked at TASKS Unlimited, the MN Housing Finance Agency, the MN AIDS Project and as an independent grant writer. She graduated from Hamline University and received a Master's in Public Policy from the Humphrey Institute at the University of Minnesota and a Master's of Fine Arts in Poetry from Antioch University. Rhonda loved poetry, politics and a good conversation. Her life was full of people and good humor. She knew the value of a good story and indeed, she really was the funniest. Rhonda showed us how to live a full life with cancer, living for 8 years with a disease that was expected to end her life after 18 months. Rhonda is survived by her spouse, Ann, and son, Andy, and many close friends and family. She was preceded in death by her mother, Mabel Foss, who died Oct. 11; father, Raymond Foss, and brother, Roger. A celebration of Rhonda's life will be held on Sun., Nov. 3 at 1:30 P.M. at Prospect Park United Methodist Church, 22 Malcolm Ave. SE, Minneapolis. A reception in the church will follow. In lieu of flowers, memorials welcomed to Prospect Park United Methodist Church or the MN Ovarian Cancer Alliance.

Read the full obituary.

Monday, October 14, 2013

Engh as Campaign Manager

rachel-engh.jpgRachel Engh (MURP '11) is currently the campaign manager for Minneapolis mayoral candidate, Bob Fine. She's enjoying learning about residents' concerns and hopes for the city, and had been meeting passionate Humphrey alumni along the way! Although she's decided that politics won't be in her future, she's learning valuable skills that she plans to use while working in community economic development, a field she hopes to enter post-election.

Connect with Rachel on LinkedIn.

Shardlow in Star Tribune

josie-shardlow.jpgJosie Shardlow (MPP '11) recently joined the city of Brooklyn Park as a neighborhood relations specialist and has already started to help build neighborhood relationships in the northern suburbs as seen in a recent Star Tribune article.

Josie's position is described in the article by her boss, Elizabeth Tolzmann, who says, "Her primary duties are to develop and create neighborhoods, working with residents in a grass-roots way...she's really starting from scratch. We are following the St. Louis Park model. We want to build neighborhood and community connections at a grass-roots level. Residents define the neighborhoods and boundaries."

Read the full article.

Connect with Josie on LinkedIn.

Friday, October 4, 2013

Promotion for Ungemah

143c343.jpgDavid Ungemah (MP '96) is now an Assistant Vice President with Parsons Brinckerhoff , a 14,000-employee international planning and engineering firm and a wholly owned subsidiary of Balfour Beatty. His role is as the National Managed Lanes Practice Manager.

Interestingly, David first was introduced to managed lanes while at the Humphrey School, having worked as a research assistant for the State and Local Policy Program under Humphrey Senior Fellow Lee Munnich. He continued this area of expertise throughout his career, and continues to work side-by-side with Lee Munnich on projects (including I-35E MnPASS Extension) and research (as co-chairs of the Transportation Research Board Committee on Congestion Pricing). David is currently based in Denver, Colorado.

Connect with David by email or on LinkedIn. Linkedin_icon.jpg

Douma Part of $10.4 Million Transportation Safety Project

Frank Douma.jpgThe University of Minnesota's Center for Transportation Studies (CTS) will lead a new $10.4 million regional consortium that includes several Humphrey School faculty members, including alumnus Frank Douma (MA '93), Greg Lindsey, Lee Munnich, Kathy Quick, and research staff will work on the project which aims to improve transportation safety.

The U.S. Department of Transportation is helping fund the project with $5.2 million federal dollars; another $5.2 million in matching funds will come from regional, state, and local partners. The CTS consortium is one of 33 grant recipients out of nearly 150 applicants.

Read more here.

Monday, September 30, 2013

Welbes recognized with the Presidential Meritorious Rank Award

Matt Welbes.jpgMatthew Welbes (MA '90) was recognized with the Presidential Meritorious Rank Award for his work as executive director at the Federal Transit Administration (FTA).

He was cited for his leadership supporting development and implementation of improvements for FTA's major transit investments development process (such as the Twin Cities Central Corridor light rail line) and the sound management of over $8 billion in Recovery Act transit project funding. The annual awards are presented to fewer than two percent of federal Senior Executive Service members.

Matthew has been the executive director of the FTA since 2008.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Eash takes position as Program Coordinator

Laura Eash.jpgLaura Eash (MURP '10) recently began a position as the Program Coordinator for the Minnesota Transportation Alliance and the Minnesota Public Transit Association. Previously she worked as a Living GreenCorps Member for the Minnesota GreenCorps.

While at the Humphrey School, Laura worked in the State and Local Policy Program as a research assistant and interned at the Minnesota Department of Transportation.

Connect with Laura on LinkedIn. Linkedin_icon.jpg

Lundquist takes position as Hubert Project Director

Leah Lundquist.jpgThe Humphrey School of Public Affairs is excited to announce that Leah Lundquist (MPP '10) will begin her new role as the Hubert Project Director. Leah has served with the Center of Integrative Leadership as the Manager of Community Partnerships providing support for its exemplary leadership development initiatives.

Prior to graduating with her Master of Public Policy degree, Leah was an Associate Program Officer with the Northwest Area Foundation where she was instrumental in implementing a technology solution for effective relationship management. Her experience in digital content development, social media communication, and virtual community development are invaluable for the continued evolution of the Hubert Project, an Open Educational Resource of Public Affairs education.

Connect with Leah on LinkedIn.Linkedin_icon.jpg

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Johnson interviewed by CNN's "Black in America"

Duane Johnson.jpgCNN recently came to town to interview Duane Johnson (MPP '10) as part of its "Black in America" series. Johnson co-founded Tuloko (, an online database that lists African American owned businesses and events. The show airs in December 2013.

From the Insight News story:

"As an upcoming installment of CNN's 'Black in America' hosted by Soledad O'Brien, the provocative series will focus on African-American businesses and economic empowerment. One of the businesses to be featured is a start-up developed right here in the Twin Cities. Not so ironically, the business' mission is to connect African-American consumers to African-American businesses.

The brainchild of Duane Johnson and Sean Armstrong, Tuloko ( is an internet-based search site listing and highlighting Black-owned businesses in various metropolitan cities throughout the country. As the duo explained, Tuloko is like an Angie's List or Yelp, but specifically geared towards generating traffic to Black-owned businesses."

Read the full story.

Originally published in the Humphrey School's Diversity Blog.

Nethercut loved working with others to make good things happen

Bob Nethercut.jpgRobert E. "Bob" Nethercut (MA '67), age 88, died peacefully on September 2, 2013. He is survived by Jean, his loving wife of 64 years, and their four children.

After graduating from Elyria (Ohio) High School in 1943 he enlisted in the U.S. Army, and served in France and Germany during WWII. After the war Bob graduated from Wooster College, where he met Jean McAfee. They were married in 1949. After he earned an M.S. in Physics from Ohio State University, they moved to Minnesota in 1951. Bob worked for 15 years as a research scientist with Honeywell. He also became involved in local government and politics, serving as a City Council Trustee and then Mayor of Arden Hills.

In 1967 Bob changed careers and spent 20 years on the staff of the Metropolitan Council where he served in several positions, including the Director of the Metropolitan Parks and Open Space Commission. He played an instrumental role in the development of the Twin Cities regional park system and earned an M.A. in Public Administration at the University of Minnesota.

Bob loved working with others to make good things happen. He held key leadership positions with many organizations, including Presbyterian Church of the Way, Minnesota Senior Federation, North Suburban Golden Kiwanis Club, YMCA (Family) Camp DuNord, YMCA Camp Menogyn, the Citizens League, Roseville Citizens Forum, and the Ramsey County Parks and Open Space Commission. Above all else, Bob was a friendly, generous and kind person with a great sense of humor.

Read the full obituary.

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Hoye joins Center for Energy and Environment

046801b.jpgMegan Hoye (MPP '10) recently joined the Center for Energy and Environment (CEE) as the first engagement coordinator. Megan will be working in CEE's new Innovation Exchange department. CEE works on multiple scales including homes, small businesses, and institutions. Her new position will allow her many opportunities to build onto her interests of behavior change and engagement.
Megan's past experience includes volunteer work as an interior designer for both the ASID Community Service Committee and the Minnesota African American Museum and a mentor at Bolder Options. She was also the co-founder at threeACTIONS Project and was a policy graduate intern at Eutectics Consulting LLC.
Connect with Megan on LinkedIn.

Rosales speaks at United Nations

Jon Rosales Photo.jpgJon Rosales (MA '96) spoke at the United Nations third annual Earth Day dialogue on Monday, April 22, 2013. Jon's talk focused on identifying environmental thresholds and the cultures that avoid reaching beyond environmental limits. The discussion was aimed at influencing the post-2015 development agenda and the consideration of and emerging field in the science of decision making.

Jon is an associate professor of environmental studies at St. Lawrence University. He has published numerous articles on environmental affairs with a large focus on climate change. Currently, he is researching the effects of climate change on native substance villages in Alaska. Jon has also been invited to speak at eight other UN conferences about climate change.

Connect with Jon on LinkedIn.

Bond promoted to Professor

Johanna Bond Photo.jpgIn April 2013, Johanna Bond (MA '93) was promoted from associate professor to full professor at Washington and Lee University after joining the School of Law faculty in 2008. Washington and Lee University is a small, private university in Lexington, Virginia that was founded in 1749, making it the ninth oldest higher learning institution in the country.

Johanna was previously a visiting associate professor of law at Georgetown University and assistant director of the International Women's Human Rights Clinic at Georgetown University Law Center. She co-taught a course on international and comparative law and the rights of women. She also led students in a human rights fact-finding mission to document domestic violence in Poland.

Johnson appointed Deputy Commissioner

Chuck_Johnson.jpgChuck Johnson (MA '83) was recently appointed as the deputy commissioner for policy and operations at the Minnesota Department of Human Services (DHS). The mission of the Minnesota Department of Human Services is to help people meet their basic needs so they are able to achieve their highest potential. Before becoming the deputy commissioner, Chuck was the chief financial officer (CFO) and chief operating officer (COO) and will continue to oversee those jobs.

For the last 29 years Chuck has worked for the state of Minnesota as well as over 24 of those years with DHS. He previously served as the assistant commissioner for the department's Children and Family Services Administration and director of the Transition to Economic Stability Division. Before joining DHS, Chuck worked for the Minnesota Office of Jobs Policy.

Connect with Chuck on LinkedIn.

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Little joins McKnight Foundation

arleta_little photo 2.jpgArleta Little (MPA '06) recently joined the McKnight Foundation as the arts program officer. The McKnight Foundation is one of the county's largest foundations and donates millions of dollars in grants each year. The foundation is based in Minnesota and assists nonprofit organizations in the improvement of the quality of life for people in need.

Previously, Arleta was the executive director at the Givens Foundation for African American Literature. She was the first executive director at the foundation and worked there for seven years while helping to create new strategic initiatives.

Connect with Arleta on LinkedIn.Linkedin_icon.jpg

Photo credit to Springboard for the Arts.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Watson Awarded Bush Fellowship

Leslie Watson.jpgLeslie Watson (MPA '11), a consultant at CDS Consulting Co-op, was recently awarded a Bush Fellowship from the Bush Foundation. The Bush Foundation's focus is on building peoples abilities to solve problems in their communities based on the beliefs of founder Archibald Bush. The foundation has been helping to support strong leaders for 60 years and has distributed more than 2,200 awards.

CDS Consulting Co-op is an organization that builds and strengthens cooperative businesses. CDS Consulting Co-op consultants provide services that are both comprehensive and personalized and have worked on more than 500 projects to help cooperatives achieve their goals.

Read the release and other named 2013 Bush Fellows here.

Connect with Leslie on LinkedIn.

Stecs Announce Baby Boy

Stec Photo.jpgJustin Stec (MPP '05) and his wife, Agnes, are happy to welcome their newborn baby boy, Nathaniel Arthur Stec. Nathaniel was born in New York City on July 10, 2013 and weighed 9 pounds 3 ounces when born. Justin is an analyst at Office of Management and Budget and Agnes is an attorney at Credit Suisse. The family lives in Elmhurst, New York.

Connect with Justin on LinkedIn.


Hankey Featured in Star Tribune

HeadShot-1.jpgSteve Hankey (MURP '08) was featured in the Star Tribune on July 25 for his research on cleaner cycling routes. He is currently a graduate research assistant at the University of Minnesota working towards his PhD in civil engineering. His fieldwork consisted of biking over 800 miles while pulling a 65 pound bike trailer with monitoring equipment. The equipment measured the amount of four types of particulate air pollution on three different bike routes to determine which route would be the healthiest.

"Shifting just 100 meters (about one block) off a major road cut morning particulate exposure by about one quarter. That was the sharpest drop, although moving over another block would trim the risk by a cumulative one-third."

Read the Star Tribune article.

Connect with Steve on LinkedIn.

Friday, July 26, 2013

Mehta on Placemaking Panel

NeerajMehta.jpgNeeraj Mehta (MPP ' 01) was part of a panel on June 6 at the U of M on the topic of, "Perspectives on Placemaking," and discussed research and work in relation to place: everything from radical architecture to neighborhood yards, public housing to socially engaged art. Neeraj, director of community-based research at CURA (Center for Urban and Regional Affairs), joined Ursula Lang, Ph.D. candidate in geography, and Ross Elfline, assistant professor of art history at Carleton College, on the panel.

Previously, Neeraj worked as program officer at Nexus Community Partners, program manager and board member at Project for Pride in Living, and the strategic development director at Sanctuary CDC.

Connect with Neeraj on LinkedIn.


Thursday, July 25, 2013

McMahon joins Saint Mary's

Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for clip_image019_001.jpgScott McMahon (MPP '03) joined Saint Mary's University of Minnesota as the associate vice president for external affairs in July. With his new position, Scott will lead community relations efforts for SMUMN's Schools of Graduate Professional Programs. Scott was also named the executive director of the Hendrickson Institute for Ethical Leadership at Saint Mary's University of Minnesota.

Prior to joining Saint Mary's, Scott was the director of government and community affairs for the Minnesota Private College Council, where he served as the lead lobbyist for the state's 17 nonprofit, liberal arts colleges for six years. He also spent two years as the research director at the National Institute of Health Policy.

Connect with Scott on LinkedIn


Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Roberts presents on Child Labor Regulations and the American Culture of Farm Work

Megan Roberts.jpgMegan Roberts (MS-STEP '11) recently presented with Professor Deborah Levison on Child Labor Regulations and the American Culture of Farm Work. Roberts is currently an agribusiness instructor at South Central College in North Mankato, MN.

She says, "My professional passion lies in agricultural advocacy, farmer decision-making and ag policy. From newborn piglets to the orange sunsets of harvest, there is nothing that gets me more excited than agriculture."

A description of Professor Levison and Megan's work follows:

In 2011, the U.S. Department of Labor proposed to change the regulations that have governed children's work and physical presence on farms in the United States since the 1970s. A period for comments was opened, then extended. Eventually, more than 10,000 comments were received by the Department of Labor and made available to the public on the website Megan Roberts analyzed a large sample of those comments and will describe their strongly pro-child-work sentiment in this seminar, while Deborah Levison will place them in the context of human rights, the Convention on the Rights of the Child and the recent decline in child/youth experience of work in America.

Watch the video of their presentation.

Nix announces candidacy for St. Paul City Council

Noel Nix1.jpgNoel Nix (MURP '08) recently announced his candidacy for St. Paul City Council Member in Ward 1. Noel is currently a legislative aide in the office of St. Paul Council Member Melvin Carter.

After completing his degree at the Humphrey School, he accepted a position with the Metropolitan Consortium of Community Developers, and had previously spent several years working in the private sector and as a residential property manager in St. Paul. Noel also holds a bachelors degree in business from the Carlson School of Management.

For more information, visit Noel's campaign website.

Photo credit to

Alexander named Best Young Political Lobbyist in IL

Adrienne Alexander.jpgAdrienne Alexander (MPP '08) was recently named the Best Young Political Lobbyist by the Chicago Reader as a Critics' Pick.

"The first question Alexander generally gets when meeting a legislator is: "How young are you? You look so young to be a lobbyist." So how young is she? "I turned 27 in December," she says. A lot of lobbyists are former public officials taking advantage of the contacts they made while in office. But Alexander's never run for office. Raised in Georgia, she got her start working as a fellow for the AFL-CIO in Washington, D.C. In 2010, she moved to Chicago to work for AFSCME, lobbying in the City Council, the Cook County Board of Commissioners, and the General Assembly. "The hard thing is the mentality that you can't win. People always tell us, 'You can't organize against the mayor,' or 'Don't bet against Speaker Madigan.' You have to convince legislators that it's in their best interest to take a stand because we have so many members in their district--and come Election Day, our members vote." Alexander has quickly come to understand that politics is not always about who's right; it's about power and relationships. "I love Chicago and Illinois politics," she says. "It's a special form of exhilaration and frustration."

Originally published by the Chicago Reader.