Local Government Innovation & Redesign

To support local government redesign efforts and recognize the innovative work already underway, the Public and Nonprofit Leadership Center has partnered with state associations to create the Local Government Innovation & Redesign Guide and host a yearly Local Government Innovations Awards ceremony.

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PNLC Announces and Convenes New Advisory Group Members

The Public and Nonprofit Leadership Center at the Humphrey School of Public Affairs has invited 14 new members to its Advisory Group: Michael Anderson, Babak Armajani, Ellis Bullock, Dan Cramer, Susan Gross, John Gunyou, Pham Thi Hoa, Bernadine Joselyn, Dianne Krizan, Lars Leafblad, Jon Pratt, Steve Rothschild, Steve Struthers, and Patricia Torres Ray.

The Advisory Group is composed of local, state, and national leaders in the fields of public, nonprofit and philanthropic sectors who serve as ambassadors and counselors for the Center. Each member was appointed by the Humphrey School Dean for a three-year term Group serves as ambassadors for the PNLC.

  • Michael Anderson is a Loan Officer & Training Manager at the Nonprofits Assistance Fund, an organization that supports nonprofits through financial management training and lending. Michael also serves on the board at PRG, Inc. An alumni and adjunct faculty member of the Humphrey School, he was also nominated in 2010 as an "Under the Radar Leader" on the MinnPost Pollen Network.
  • Babak Armajani is the Chair of the Public Strategies Group, a consulting firm dedicated to transforming and improving public services. He also served as both the Deputy Commissioner of Minnesota's Revenue Department and the Deputy in the Department of Administration. Babak also teaches graduate management courses at a number of universities and is a board member of Indie Energy Systems.
  • Ellis Bullock is the Executive Director of the Grotto Foundation. His distinguished legacy in philanthropy ranges from previous work as the Executive Director of the Jostens Foundation and Youth Trust of Minneapolis. Bullock also serves on a number of volunteer boards including: Hamline University Board of Trustees; Science Museum of Minnesota: Headwaters Foundation for Justice and the Steering Committee for the African-American Leadership Forum.
  • Dan Cramer is the Co-Founder of Grassroots Solutions, an organization dedicated to organizing, engaging, and mobilizing people. His experience is steeped in grassroots organizing and volunteerism, having served as the Field Director for U.S. Senator Paul Wellstone's first campaign. Cramer also served as an attorney specializing in government relations with the Gray, Plant, Mooty law firm in Minneapolis.
  • Susan Gross is a longtime community volunteer and champion for excellence in nonprofit management. A former social studies teacher, Gross generously supports student scholarships, convening's and PNLC programs.
  • John Gunyou is the City Manager of the City of Minnetonka. As Minnesota's longest-serving Finance Commissioner, his distinguished career within public affairs also includes serving as the finance director for the City of Minneapolis. Gunyou's cross-cutting leadership also spans the private and nonprofit sectors, having worked with Minnesota Public Radio and consulting firms.
  • Pham Thi Hoa is the Executive Director of CAPI, a multi-service organization that provides services and support to Asian and African refugees and immigrants in Minnesota. With over 20 years of experience working with immigrants, Hoa currently serves on the Board of Directors for the Minnesota Council for Nonprofits, MAP for Nonprofits, Center for Victims of Torture, and the MACC Alliance of Connected Communities.
  • Bernadine Joselyn is the Director of Public Policy and Engagement at the Blandin Foundation. Prior to her work with Blandin, Joselyn worked in foreign affairs and served as diplomat with the U.S. Department of State. An alumni of the HHH, Joselyn previously served as a member of the Humphrey School Advisory Board.
  • Dianne Krizan is the President of the Minnesota Children's Museum. With more than 20 years of experience in business and non-profit sectors, Krizan previously worked as Managing Director of Development at Minnesota Public Radio and currently serves as a board member for Nova Classical Academy.
  • Lars Leafblad is a Principal with KeyStone Search, a Twin Cities-based executive search firm. A former Policy Fellow at the Humphrey School, he has extensive experience in both nonprofit and the private sector. Leafblad was recognized with a "40 Under 40" award from The Minneapolis-St. Paul Business Journal in 2007 and currently serves on the board of CaringBridge.org and The Salvation Army - Twin Cities advisory board.
  • Jon Pratt is director of the Minnesota Council of Nonprofits. Prior to MCN, he worked as attorney for the Minnesota Public Interest Research Group and directed a coalition formed by nonprofits to reform corporate and foundation philanthropy (the Philanthropy Project). Pratt currently co-chairs the Public Policy Committee of the National Council of Nonprofit Associations and is a contributing editor of the Nonprofit Quarterly.
  • Steve Rothschild is the founder and board chairman of Twin Cities RISE, a work skills preparation program for disadvantaged adults. A pioneer in the business and nonprofit sectors, Rothschild completed a 24-year tenure with General Mills and was elected an Ashoka Fellow in 2002, a national fellowship for social innovation.
  • Steve Struthers is the Vice President of Strategy and Results Management at ServeMinnesota; in that role he has also served as the interim Executive Director of Minnesota Education Corps. A Humphrey School alum, Struthers has worked extensively in public service redesign, including as a partner at The Public Strategies Group. Prior to moving to Minnesota, he worked as a senior researcher for the Advisory Board Company in Washington, DC.
  • Patricia Torres Ray was re-elected to the State Senate for a second term last year. She has a Masters of Public Affairs from the Humphrey Institute, where she is now Adjunct Faculty. She has worked in the public sector for 20 years and has served on many boards of non-profit organizations both locally and nationally.

About the PNLC
The Public and Nonprofit Leadership Center strives to enhance the leadership of nonprofits, philanthropy, and public sector organizations to work together--with the private sector--to advance the common good and serve the public interest. The Public and Nonprofit Leadership Center (PNLC) in the Hubert H. Humphrey School of Public Affairs at the University of Minnesota conducts research and provides workshops, conferences, and other opportunities for scholars, working professionals and organizations, as well as courses for graduate and undergraduate students.

PNLC Faculty, fellows, and staff
Kim Borton, PNLC Director
John Bryson, Professor
Barbara Crosby, Associate Professor
Gary DeCramer, Senior Lecturer
Jay Kiedrowski, Senior Fellow
Mary Maronde, Projects Specialist
Karen McCauley, Associate Administrator
Kathryn Quick, Assistant Professor
Jodi Sandfort, Chair, Associate Professor
Emily Saunoi-Sandgren, Research Fellow
Joe Soss, Professor
Melissa Stone, Professor
Zhirong "Jerry" Zhao, Assistant Professor

Advisory Group Member Testimonials:
"I'm delighted to have the opportunity to serve on the PNLC board to explore innovative ways for bringing public, private and philanthropic sectors to create partnerships that will bring social innovation and success to the state of Minnesota." -Patricia Torres Ray

"I was honored by the invitation to serve on the PNLC advisory council. As a leading model for bringing together multiple-sectors to create new partnerships, alliances, and momentum for innovative new solutions to public problems, I'm grateful for the chance to partner with the center through this work." - Lars Leafblad


The new advisory board members that have been appointed by the dean have now served their full three year term, and they have definitely made a difference by contributing to decisions made that affect nonprofits and public sector organizations. Hopefully the newly appointed advisory board members will also be able to do the same and make a great impact for good on the Minnesota public sector and nonprofit organizations.

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