Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Humphrey Alumni appointed to Young Women’s Council

Melisa Franzen (MPP ’03), Kristin Beckmann (MPA ’03), Ilhan Omar (policy fellow), Jennifer Reed (MURP ’08), and Patricia Torres Ray (MPA ’04), have been named to the Young Women’s Initiative Council as part of the Young Women’s Initiative of Minnesota (YWIMN). YWIMN will bring together nonprofits, businesses, and government to improve equity in outcomes for young women in Minnesota. Read the press release here.

Connect with Melisa on LinkedIn.

Connect with Kristin on LinkedIn.
Connect with Ilhan on LinkedIn.
Connect with Jennifer on LinkedIn.
Connect with Patricia on LinkedIn.

Peterson White featured on KSTP News

Jessica Peterson White (MPA ’11) was featured on KSTP News regarding the City of Northfield becoming a sanctuary city for undocumented immigrants. Peterson White is currently a Northfield City Councilwoman.

Read the news article here.

Connect with Jessica on LinkedIn.

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Mehta interviewed on MPR

Neeraj Mehta (MPP ’03) was recently interviewed by MPR for his expertise on gentrification and its economic impact. Mehta is the University of Minnesota’s Center for Urban and Regional Affairs director of community programs.
Listen to the MPR story here.

Connect with Neeraj on LinkedIn.

Asche featured in MinnPost

Kelly Asche (MPP ’12) was featured in MinnPost on December 5th in an article refuting that Minnesota’s small towns are dying. Asche is the program coordinator of the Center for Small Towns, based at the University of Minnesota Morris.
Read the MinnPost article here.

Monday, November 28, 2016

Johnson published in the Wall Street Journal

Duane Johnson (MPP ’12) was published in the Wall Street Journal on November 18th. He wrote an opinion letter on how the new presidential administration can provide the platform for black business success.
Read his letter here.

Wright featured in Star Tribune

Andy Wright (MA ’98) was featured in the Star Tribune for his award-winning organic barbecue sauce native to Minnesota. Wright is the owner of Triple Crown BBQ Sauces.
Connect with Andy on LinkedIn.

Tock, Hernandez, and Armacanqui appointed to Minnesota Council on Latino Affairs

Rosa Tock (MPP ’03), Violeta Hernandez (MDP ’15), and Eric Armacanqui (MPP ’16) have been appointed to the Minnesota Council on Latino Affairs. They will be working to advise and inform the governor and legislators on matters of importance to Latinos in Minnesota.

Connect with Rosa on LinkedIn.

Connect with Violeta on LinkedIn.

Connect with Eric on LinkedIn.

Corn joins YouthPower 365

Jeff Corn (MPA ’10) has joined YouthPower 365, an organization with the Vail Valley Foundation. He will be working to create a set of programs intended to prepare youth for careers and college.

Friday, November 11, 2016

Ouédraogo takes position in Senegal

Gilles Ouédraogo (MDP ’13) has taken a job with the United Nations Development Programme in Dakar, Senegal as a monitoring and reporting specialist. He was formerly a planning, monitoring, evaluation, and reporting officer at the Lutheran World Federation.
Connect with Gilles on LinkedIn.
Originally posted on Global Notes.

Scheibel and Glidden featured in Twin Cities Pioneer Press

Jim Scheibel (MPA ’14) and Elizabeth Glidden (MPA ’04) were featured in the Twin Cities Pioneer Press opinion section with their article regarding the presidential election and ranked-choice voting. Scheibel is a professor of practice at Hamline University, and Glidden is vice president of the Minneapolis City Council.
Read the article here.

Connect with Jim on LinkedIn.

Connect with Elizabeth on LinkedIn.

Maas awarded Polaris Leadership Award

Geoffrey Maas (MURP ’07) was awarded the Polaris Leadership Award by the Minnesota GIS/LIS Consortium for his efforts in information policy research supporting open geospatial data in Minnesota. He serves as the MetroGIS program coordinator at the Metropolitan Council and teaches “PA 5271: GIS for Planning and Policy Analysis” at the Humphrey School of Public Affairs.
Connect with Geoffrey on LinkedIn.

Thursday, November 3, 2016

Zheng founds Topia Asset Management Ltd.

Yi Jenny Zheng (MURP ’03) has founded her own company, Topia Asset Management Ltd. Her business’ focus is in fund management, distress acquisition, microlending, and international wealth management.
Connect with Jenny on LinkedIn.

Eagles, Franzen honored in 40 Under 40

Julia Eagles (MPP ’14) and Nathan Franzen (MURP ’03) have been named to Midwest Energy News’ 40 Under 40 list. Eagles is currently a public policy and strategy manager at Xcel Energy, and Franzen is the vice president of solar development at Geronimo Energy.
Connect with Julia on LinkedIn.
Connect with Nathan on LinkedIn.

Carroll-Franck joins Pillsbury United Communities

Andréa Carroll-Franck (GC-NM ’13) has joined Pillsbury United Communities as a public allies program manager. She was formerly a program development coordinator with the Sannah Foundation.
Connect with Andréa on LinkedIn.

Moore running for Minnesota House of Representatives seat

Mike Moore (MPA ’02) will be on the ballot this November as the DFL party nominee for the District 1B Minnesota House of Representatives seat. Moore has served the district area through various positions for over 30 years.
Read more about his campaign here.

Monday, October 31, 2016

Shardlow becomes coordinator at Minnesota State Council

George Shardlow (MPP ’15) recently became a legislative coordinator with the Minnesota State Council on Disability. He was formerly a legislative analyst with Redmond Associates Inc.
Connect with George on LinkedIn.

Kasim joins Catholic Relief Services

Faris Kasim (MDP ’16) has joined Catholic Relief Services in Baltimore as a project development manager in Baltimore. Catholic Relief Services works to provide aid worldwide.
Connect with him on LinkedIn.

Friday, October 7, 2016

Brown joins Neighborhood Restore

Erika Brown (MURP ’16) has joined Neighborhood Restore in New York as a project manager. Neighborhood Restore is a nonprofit organization that oversees a variety of affordable housing development programs that focus on transitioning properties from financial and physical abandonment to third party ownership.
Connect with Erika on LinkedIn.

Monday, October 3, 2016

Blanks-Jones named RWJ Health Policy Research Scholar

Jasmine Blanks-Jones (MPP ’10) has been named a Health Policy Research Scholar by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation at the University of Pennsylvania. Blanks’ grant will allow her to continue to manage the NGO she launched in Liberia.
Connect with Jasmine on LinkedIn.

Friday, September 30, 2016

Amelia and Brandon Helm married

Amelia Brunelle (MPP ’12) and Brandon Helm (MPP ’12) were married on August 27, 2016 at Minnetonka Orchards. They met during Humphrey orientation in 2010. Congratulations!
Connect with Amelia on LinkedIn.
Connect with Brandon on LinkedIn


Cowgill contributes research to CURA report

Jonathan Cowgill (MURP ’16) has co-authored a research report regarding St. Paul’s budget data and the distribution of spending throughout the city. He was featured on KSTP as a result of his report.
Watch the KSTP segment here.
Read the report here.
 Connect with Jonathan on LinkedIn.

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Nezhad joins TerraLuna Collaborative

Sheila Nezhad (MDP ’12) joined TerraLuna Collaborative in February as a developmental evaluator. TerraLuna is a consulting firm specializing in evaluation, organization and program development, and research.

Connect with Sheila on LinkedIn.

Monday, September 26, 2016

Munoz becomes director at TRIO

Minerva Munoz (MPP ’09) has become the new director of TRIO Student Support Services at the University of Minnesota, an organization that strives to ensure equal opportunity in education. She was formerly the director of TRIO Upward Bound.

Connect with Minerva on LinkedIn.

Acharya promoted at UnitedHealth Group

Paruj Acharya (MPP ’15) has been promoted at UnitedHealth Group to a healthcare IT database consultant. He was formerly a senior healthcare economics analyst.
Connect with Paruj on LinkedIn.

Kuhn featured on NBC 15

Emily Kuhn (MPP ’02) was featured on NBC 15 news (Middleton, WI) for her innovative app that allows busy mothers to stay informed about politics. The 1my Vote app is a free nonpartisan voter app that profiles candidates at a national and state level.
Read the article here.
Connect with Emily on LinkedIn.

Monday, September 19, 2016

Her profiled by Politics in Minnesota

Sia Her (MPP ’07), executive director of the Council on Asian Pacific Minnesotans, was the subject of this profile in Politics in Minnesota. Her was a recipient of the School’s Public Leadership Award in June 2016.
Read the article here.
Connect with Sia on LinkedIn.
Originally posted on Global Notes.

Schuettler joins Northspan Group

Karl Schuettler (MURP ’16) has joined the Northspan Group as director of marketing, research, and analysis. He will be providing economic, business, and community development support services for public and private clients.
Connect with Karl on LinkedIn.

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Lauder accepts fellowship with Department of Public Safety

Elizabeth Lauder (MPA ’15) will be working for the State of Minnesota in the Department of Public Safety/Driver and Vehicle Services Division as a management analyst. She will be working on a change management program.
Connect with Liz on LinkedIn.

Chan to begin with Stronger U.S.

James Chan (MPP ’14) will be beginning a fellowship with Stronger U.S., a new political organization, in Orlando. He was formerly the assistant vice president at C1 Bank.
Connect with James on LinkedIn.

Monday, September 12, 2016

Jones takes job with MPR

Catharine Jones (MPP ’11) has recently taken a job with Minnesota Public Radio in Rochester as the station’s bureau reporter. She will be focusing on topics such as the Mayo Clinic, health care and technology, and environment issues.
Connect with Catharine on LinkedIn.

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Barnea and Leitner named to Mass Transit’s Top 40 Under 40

Avital Barnea (MURP ‘11) and Lyssa Leitner (MURP ’11) have both been named to Mass Transit Magazine’s 2016 Top 40 Under 40 list. Barnea is currently a policy analyst at the United States Department of Transportation, and Leitner is a project manager at Washington County in Minnesota.

Connect with Avital on LinkedIn.
Connect with Lyssa on LinkedIn.

Chikate joins Open Society Foundations

Paidamoyo Chikate (GC-NP 2015) has joined the Open Society Foundations. She will be working as a policy analyst in the area of women’s rights.
Connect with Paidamoyo on LinkedIn.

Holmgren leaving Portico Healthnet

Debra Holmgren (MPA ‘07) will be retiring after serving as president of Portico Healthnet, a non-profit that assists Minnesotans in accessing health care coverage, for 21 years. She will be replaced by Meghan Kimmel.
Connect with Debra on LinkedIn.

Monday, August 29, 2016

Arbury becomes development database specialist

Chelsea Arbury (MPP '15) is now a development database specialist at the Catholic Charities of Saint Paul and Minneapolis. Arbury formerly participated in a 9-month research and outreach internship for the State Fiscal Project at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities.

Connect with Chelsea on LinkedIn.

Barroso joins the International Development Group

Felipe Dyna Barroso (MDP '16) has joined the International Development Group in Washington, D.C. as a project coordinator. Barroso previously worked at the Sawiris Foundation for Social Development as an economic development consultant.

Connect with Felipe on LinkedIn.

Hage promoted at First Call

Emily Hage (MPP '10) has been promoted to vice president of development at First Call Alcohol/Drug Prevention & Recovery. Hage previously served as project manager. 

Connect with Emily on LinkedIn

Ryan becomes senior planner

Rose Ryan (MURP '11) has joined Alta Planning and Design as a senior planner. Ryan was formerly a planner at WSB & Associates.

Connect with Rose on LinkedIn.

Taylor to serve as interim communications director

Mike Taylor (MS-STEP '02) will serve as the interim communications director at the Smart Electric Power Alliance in Washington, D.C. in addition to his current role as principal of knowledge. 

Connect with Mike on LinkedIn.

Boldenow selected as director

Jill Boldenow (MPP '12) was recently selected to serve as director of the Ramsey County Library. Boldenow formerly held director positions at the Minnesota State Arts Board and the Saint Paul Public Library.

Connect with Jill on LinkedIn.
View the Ramsey County news update here.

Peterson promoted to manager of highway planning

Steve Peterson (MURP '07) was promoted to manager of highway planning at the Twin Cities Met Council. Peterson was previously a planning analyst and the highway team group leader.

Connect with Steve on LinkedIn.

Christopherson joins Chicago Transit Authority

Kate Christopherson (MURP '14) started a new position earlier this month as a rail service planner at the Chicago Transit Authority. Christopherson was previously a transit planner and technology specialist at Madison Metro in Wisconsin. 

Connect with Kate on LinkedIn or at

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Ehresmann marries and receives new position with USDS

Peter Ehresmann (MDP '14) married Mary Claypool last February in Washington, DC and recently moved to Paris, France in August for a temporary assistant management position with the U.S. Department of State. Peter previously worked for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security as a policy analyst in the Office of Infrastructure Protection.

Connect with Peter on LinkedIn and by email at:

Mingus earns soccer certificate and special recognition award

John MingusJohn Mingus (MA' 91), assistant director at the GAO, recently earned his National Youth Coaching Course Certificate from U.S. Soccer and received the Arlington Soccer Association's Mac McLaughlin Special Recognition Award for "having done something above and beyond the call of duty for the betterment of the association and community." 

Connect with John on LinkedIn.

Horii joins UN Women Cameroon

Yukari Horii (MPP '05) has joined UN Women Cameroon as a programme specialist. Horii will be working to mainstream gender in humanitarian work. She previously served as a programme analyst (monitoring and evaluation) at the UN Population Fund in Egypt.

Connect with Yukari on LinkedIn.

Lueke reports on automotive cybersecurity at the GAO

Nancy Lueke (MURP '03), assistant director of the Physical Infrastructure Team at the U.S. Government Accountability Office, was given the task of drawing up a report on the threat level of automotive cybersecurity as Congress considers new legislation. Quoted by Wards Auto, Lueke says the office found automakers are concerned about direct-access soft spots inside the car, such as CD players and USB ports. But they are focused more on buttoning down remote access points, including telematics systems and cellular networks that could provide a path for hackers to access multiple vehicles at the same time.

View the full briefing here.
Connect with Nancy on LinkedIn.

Redd quoted by Inside Higher Ed

Ken Redd (MA' 89) was recently quoted by an Inside Higher Ed report that scrutinizes endowment spending on low-income students. 

On the topic of renegotiating existing endowments to raise more money for low-income students, Redd said, “Many schools already do those kinds of things before gift agreements are signed. There are always those conversations back and forth about what a school’s needs are, but ultimately it’s the donor’s money. If a donor decides they want to support the engineering school or the hospital or research, then certainly a school has to honor that.”

View the full article here.
Connect with Ken on LinkedIn.

Thursday, August 4, 2016

Johnson joins Hennepin County

Ashley Johnson (MPP '14) is now the senior program evaluator and principal planning analyst for Hennepin County. Johnson was formerly the director of evaluation and innovation for the Minnesota Alliance With Youth.

Connect with Ashley on LinkedIn.

Henjum launches new business, Esqyr

Chris HenjumChris Henjum (MPP and JD '10) recently co-founded and launched a new test prep business called Esqyr. Esqyr is the first company to serve students with both affordable online test prep materials and a legal obligation to tackle student debt. In a press release, Henjum commented, "The student debt crisis isn't just caused by rising tuition.The many tests required for a credential or license often forces students to pay thousands for study materials." As part of Esqyr's social mission, the company will donate 20% of its profits to organizations tackling student debt, along with free accounts for students who face the most challenges in repaying their student debt.

View the full press release.
Connect with Chris on LinkedIn.

Monday, August 1, 2016

Swanson becomes managing director

Anna Swanson (MPP '10) is now the managing director of analytics at Royall & Company. Swanson was formerly the principal of Hardwick Day.

Connect with Anna on LinkedIn.

Nesse moves to Seattle Pacific University

Katherine Nesse (MURP '06) recently moved to Seattle Pacific University as an assistant professor in regional and community planning after working at Kansas State University for four years.

Connect with Katherine on LinkedIn.

Funk moves to Exosite

Michelle Funk (MPP '11) has joined Exosite as a full stack web developer. Her new position marks her second year as a software developer after spending several years in market and evaluation research and analysis.

Connect with Michelle on LinkedIn.