Updates on The Center for Integrative Leadership at the University of Minnesota as well as integrative leadership and grand challenges in the news.

2020 Twin Cities Cohorts for the Young American Leaders Programs Announced

April 16, 2020

After a highly competitive selection process, we are pleased to announce the 2020 Twin Cities cohorts for the Young American Leaders Programs. While some of these rising leaders will be attending the Program at the University of Minnesota and some at Harvard Business School, together they represent a unique force for expanding the power of cross-sectoral collaboration for our region and our state. 

The Young American Leaders Program originated at Harvard Business School in 2015 with the aim of bringing city-based cohorts of rising leaders from business, government and non-profit organizations together for three days to increase their knowledge of the state and trajectory of our national and regional economic development, provide tools for cross-sector collaboration, and grow networks of rising leaders who can lead together for public good in the future.  In 2019, the Itasca Project partnered with the University of Minnesota’s Center for Integrative Leadership as well as Harvard Business School to hold the first Minnesota Young American Leaders Program at the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities.

For 2020, a broad-based selection committee led by the Itasca Project and chaired by Duchesne Drew, Community Network vice president at the Bush Foundation and incoming President, Minnesota Public Radio, considered applications from a wide range of rising leaders from across business, government and non-profit organizations.  Applicants were asked to explain why, in their current public interest work, they thought it could be more useful for them to develop their contacts across Minnesota or across other states.  Successful applicants were chosen based on their track record and potential trajectory in both their professional and civic engagement and were invited to attend the Program in either Boston or the Twin Cities based on their answer to this question.

Following the selection process, Harvard Business School announced that it will defer the 2020 Young American Leaders Program in Boston until June 2021. The 2020 Minnesota Young American Leaders Program is scheduled for October 7-9 at the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities.  Please join us in congratulating these rising Minnesotan leaders and saluting their commitment to collaborate across boundaries for the shared prosperity of our region.

Twin Cities Cohort Attending Program at UMN: October 2020

  • Adebisi Wilson, Innocent Technologies
  • Andrea Vaubel, Minnesota Department of Agriculture
  • Anisha Murphy, Community Reinvestment Fund
  • Ben Shardlow, Downtown Council
  • Brian Suter, Westwood Community Church
  • Casey Schultz, beta.mn
  • Clyde Wilson Pickett, Minnesota State Colleges and Universities
  • Erin Bailey, State of Minnesota
  • Habon Abdulle, Women Organizing Women
  • Jill Renslow, Mall of America
  • Joseph Rios, University of Minnesota, Twin Cities    
  • Justin Doyle, Target   
  • Kathy Hedin, Ramsey County Public Health Department     
  • Marcus Schmit, Minnesota Department of Corrections       
  • Mary Rick, City of Saint Paul  
  • Matt Lewis, GREATER MSP    
  • Matthew Wohlman, Land O’Lakes    
  • Michelle Arulfo, Allina Health
  • Mikisha Nation, Teach for America   
  • Rachel Hughey, Merchant & Gould   
  • Rochelle Johnson, HealthPartners    
  • Ron Garber, Medtronic

Twin Cities Cohort Attending Program at HBS: June 2021

  • Abdirahmin Kahin, Afro Deli  
  • Adine Momoh, Stinson LLP    
  • Anil Hurkadli, Thrivent           
  • Chris Schmitter, Office of Governor Walz     
  • Melisa Lopez Franzen, Minnesota Senate     
  • Acooa Ellis, Greater Twin Cities United Way 
  • Angelica Klebsch, CLUES        
  • Anne Gotte, Ecolab    
  • Lars Leafblad, Ballinger | Leafblad    
  • Natalie Volin Lehr, Carlson Companies

University of Minnesota Welcomes Former Gov. Mark Dayton as Leadership Fellow

October 8, 2019

We are pleased to announce that former Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton has joined the University of Minnesota’s Center for Integrative Leadership (CIL) as an Executive Leadership Fellow for the 2019-2020 academic year.

The Center is a University-wide initiative affiliated with five schools—the Humphrey School of Public Affairs, the Carlson School of Management, the College of Education and Human Development, the School of Public Health, and the Law School—focused on learning, research, and discussion to foster shared leadership for public good across government, business, and nonprofits. 

Executive Leadership Fellows are senior leaders from the government, business, or nonprofit sectors who generally spend a year at the Center working with students and faculty on various leadership activities. The Fellowships, which are unpaid, are designed to provide flexibility to allow the leaders to participate in research, special projects, and classroom presentations.

Dayton was governor of Minnesota for eight years, leaving office in January 2019. During his 40-year career in public service Dayton was also elected a United States senator and state auditor, and served in a variety of other capacities in state government. 

Vanessa Laird, executive director of the Center, says she’s thrilled to welcome Dayton to the University. “Governor Dayton’s humility and dogged commitment to racial and economic equity, our natural environment, and evidence-based policymaking fit perfectly with the Center's mission of advancing regional prosperity through shared leadership,” Laird says. “We look forward to working with him to learn from his experiences of striving to better our common resources for all Minnesotans.”

Dayton’s office is located in the Humphrey School, where the Center is housed. Dean Laura Bloomberg says his accessibility to public policy students provides them a unique opportunity. “Over his remarkable professional life of public service, Governor Dayton has served the state of Minnesota in so many capacities that are highly relevant to the Humphrey School community,” says Bloomberg. “Our students are eager to engage with him and seek his advice as they embark on their own careers in public life.”

Dayton plans to participate in the life of the University and contribute his experience to students, faculty and other interested learners and scholars in a number of ways, Laird says. For example, he will work with a student team on the Gubernatorial Oral Histories Project, https://leadership.umn.edu/executive-leadership-fellows/minnesota-gubernatorial-oral-histories, which is mentored by another CIL Executive Leadership Fellow, Patrick Coleman, archivist of the Minnesota State Historical Society. Dayton also plans to work with Humphrey School Associate Professor Kathy Quick to assemble a series of reflections on collaboration and leadership, drawing on his time in and outside of government.

He will also be available for scheduled student office hours and as a class discussant for University courses.