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Chief Executive Officer

https://mnhum.org/ www.ballingerleafblad.com
Chief Executive Officer of Minnesota Humanities Center

Building a thoughtful, literate, and engaged society.


The Minnesota Humanities Center is a statewide nonprofit and full-service event
center. MHC was founded in 1971, when the National Endowment for the
Humanities began providing funding for state-based humanities programs. MHC has
evolved over the decades beginning with educational programming exploring
Minnesota’s people, sociology, and history. Public programming expanded in the
1990s with traveling exhibits, international speakers, published books and public
events that examined the nation and the state’s diverse, difficult histories and
potential future.

The Humanities Center continues to engage the state’s communities by exploring

“absent narratives” —voices often left out or marginalized.


Minnesota Humanities Center collaborates with organizations and people through

education, partnerships, and public programs to inspire community conversations,
forge deep connections, and illuminate authentic, diverse voices across the state —
especially those left out, marginalized, or otherwise absent from education and
public awareness.
Veterans’ Voices
Veterans’ Voices honors veterans’ contributions
and empowers them to relay their experiences
through plays, discussions, literature and the
Veterans’ Voices Award.

The Warrior Writer Workshop provides a safe

space for Veterans to tell their own stories, using
prompts and discussion covering a variety of
military issues and experiences.

We Are Water MN
Minnesota is the “Land of 10,000 Lakes” and
headwaters to the Mississippi River. We are Water
MN examines the practical, spiritual, and
environmental roles of water in our lives. By creating
relationships around water, networks are created
that can promote positive social norms, and share a
vision for and participate in water stewardship.

Native Nations of Minnesota examines our deep and meaningful relationships with
Minnesota’s native nations. We learn from Dakota and Ojibwe people through
stories of this land and its first people.

“Why Treaties Matter: Self-Government in the Dakota and Ojibwe Nations” is a

nationally recognized, award-winning, traveling exhibit made in partnership with
the Minnesota Indian Affairs Council and the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the
American Indian. The exhibit explores relationships between Dakota and Ojibwe
Indian Nations and the U.S. government in the Minnesota territory.

A companion site to the “Why Treaties Matter” exhibit, TreatiesMatter.org
presents relationships as a context for examining Dakota and Ojibwe–U.S. treaties.
Through videos, text, and teacher resources, hear authentic Dakota and Ojibwe
stories of sovereignty, adaptability, and sustainability in this place now called

Community Conversations are public events for all

Minnesotans who are interested learning from and with
diverse communities and in exploring how the
humanities can be a bridge between what divides and
unites us.

K-12 Education continues the education legacy through workshops, online learning,
and field trips that examine the manifold cultures alive across Minnesota. K-12
education work helps educators, students, and parents create success by closing
the relationship gap that underlies and undercuts efforts to close the achievement
gap. Experiences include:

Professional Development
Through workshops, retreats, and immersive trips, participants experience our
approach and core values firsthand. Rigorous humanities content is complemented
by activities that develop into practical strategies.

Educator Resources
The Minnesota Humanities Center is excited to offer
resources that have been developed and created in
partnership with community organizations from across the
state. These resources have been carefully curated to help
educators increase classroom engagement through the
amplification of absent narratives.
Educator Institute
The annual Educator Institute immerses participants in the Humanities Center’s
proven approach to increase student engagement through absent narratives —
those voices often left out or marginalized. This experience, led by community
scholars, prepares Minnesota educators to develop meaningful connections with
their students and implement practical classroom strategies.

Omaha Public Schools

Since 2008, the Minnesota Humanities Center has partnered with Omaha Public
Schools to provide professional development opportunities and educational
resources to educators in the district. All work with Omaha Public Schools is funded
by a generous grant from a private foundation.


Chief Executive Officer of Minnesota Humanities Center

The position is open due to the retirement of David O’Fallon, who was president/CEO
for eight years and secured strong relationships and a solid foundation for the
organization during his tenure.

Working with the Board of Directors, the new CEO is charged with ensuring the
Center’s vibrancy, growth, and innovative achievement within a constantly changing
environment. The CEO will exemplify strong vision and leadership, will embody
creativity and curiosity as a leader, and will exhibit positive energy and personal and
professional authenticity.

Essential Responsibilities:
• Engage the Board of Directors in shaping the vision for the Center’s future,
actively soliciting their input on key priority issues in a timely, effective manner,
and formulating recommendations for consideration by the Board and/or its
respective committees based on that input and other considerations.
• Communicate, inform, discuss and guide the Board in affairs of the Center and in
issues that require policy decisions, evaluations and direction for new policies,
procedures or programs to improve the overall operation and effectiveness of the


• Develop and maintain constructive relationships with governmental offices
including the Minnesota State Legislature, the national congressional offices, the
Governor’s office, and local government.
• Engage effectively with the National Endowment for the Humanities and private
sector funders.
• Build collaborative strategic alliances at the local, state, and national level to further
advancement of the Center’s mission.

• Develop appropriate annual and long-term financial objectives; lead the Center in
consistently achieving these objectives, including a positive operating budget that

allows for growth and builds reserves.
• Develop, manage, and diversify income streams to strategically grow earned and
contributed revenue for the organization.

• Be responsible for setting and reaching fundraising goals per an annual
fundraising plan with monthly assessments.
• Personally nurture and sustain close, productive relationships and collaborations
with key donors, colleagues and friends of the Center who are in a position to
advance the mission of the Center.
• Raise contributed income and grant dollars from individuals, community
foundations, corporate foundations, government and other business

• Provide leadership and set a standard of excellence for all of the Center’s
programs and activities.
• Responsible for creating an environment that attracts and retains diverse, high-
quality staff.
• Recruit, motivate, retain and lead the development of a high-performance
leadership team which provides leadership for staff in a manner that promotes
initiative and creates individual growth opportunities.

• Create and communicate a clear strategy for achieving/expanding mission to staff,
board and stakeholders.
• Develop and implement long- and short-term strategies and goals to assure that
the Center fulfills its mission, is true to its core beliefs and uses its resources

The CEO reports to the Board of Directors and directly supervises a management
team including the following roles:
• Chief Operating Officer
• Vice President
• Director of Communications
• Director of Development
• Executive Assistant

• A clear vision of, and passion for, the importance of the humanities in education
and public life.
• Significant experience in governmental relations and the ability to enhance
relationships with the Minnesota State Legislature, members of Congress, private
sector funders, and K-12 and post-secondary education leadership.
• Solid experience in planning, budgeting, board relations, and staff management.
• Vision, leadership skills, integrity, and an innovative and entrepreneurial spirit.
• Demonstrated cultural competency and commitment to diversity, equity and
• Excellent skills in verbal and written communication, synthesis, analysis, listening,
and collaboration. Superb public speaking skills and experience.
• Substantial experience and a successful track record in fundraising and
• Passion for the mission and values of the Minnesota Humanities Center.
• A minimum of 7 years experience in a top-level organizational leadership position,
preferably within a humanities-related organization.


The compensation package for this position includes participation in the
organization’s generous benefits plan. The starting salary will be $175,000.

When the Twin Cities hosted the Super very distinct seasons, none of which will
Bowl in 2018, it cast an international light let you down.
on what the organizing committee
dubbed “The Bold North.” It also gave According to the website WalletHub,
the world an up-close and personal view Minneapolis ranks 12th in America for
of what those of us who live here already cities with the most green space. Both
knew. Minnesota Nice is for real. cities share a common root of being river
towns, and the great outdoors is a major
The Twin Cities of Saint Paul and attraction for residents and visitors alike.
Minneapolis are a unique blend of small In addition to the mighty Mississippi River,
town and major cosmopolitan hub. Both there are more than 900 lakes in the
urban cores boast a thriving business metro area and surrounding suburbs,
atmosphere. Saint Paul, as the state upwards of 300 parks, and miles of biking
capitol, is home to state government and and walking trails.
has a more historical vibe. Minneapolis is
the larger and more commercial of the Nearly every weekend in the summer
two cities. Outside of the central there are several outdoor events for
downtowns, however, both cities have participants and spectators—triathlons,
many distinct neighborhoods, and biking races, running races, boat races,
residents identify more with their water skiing competitions, cultural
individual communities than with the celebrations, golf tournaments, and more.
larger city as a whole. And the best news
is housing in most of our friendly The summer highlight for many
neighborhoods is affordable and Minnesotans is the Minnesota State Fair.
welcoming. One of the largest of its kind in the country,
ours is a world-class showcase of
The Twin Cities lives up to its Bold North Minnesota’s best in agriculture, industry,
tagline in every way. Residents enjoy four arts and entertainment.

10 6
Held on a 320-acre parcel located between Minnesota’s Somali community is one of
St. Paul and Minneapolis, it is a self- the largest in the United States. St. Paul is
supported organization and has been held the heart of Minnesota’s Hmong
on the Minnesota State Fairgrounds every community as well, and is home to the
year since 1885. largest urban concentration of Hmong
residents in the country. It is by design
As summer turns to fall, the region puts that we’ve embraced such ethnic
on a breathtaking autumn show that uniqueness. Our multi-cultural
draws visitors from miles around. While communities present us with diversity in
fall is a fleeting spectacle, the active the workplace, a strong workforce and an
lifestyle of Minnesotans doesn't go added bonus of getting to know the
dormant during the winter either. world, and an understanding of different
Being hardy in every way, we take cultures on a more intimate scale right
advantage the miles of cross-country here at home.
skiing trails, downhill ski areas, ice skating,
snowmobiling, sledding, and ice fishing. One of the best places to get a taste of
our many blended cultures is Midtown
In recent years Minneapolis and St. Paul Global Market on Lake Street in
have become two of the most diverse Minneapolis. Midtown Global Market is a
cities in America. Almost six percent of welcoming indoor market and meeting
the population identifies as LGBTQ, with place featuring an abundance of ethnic
many Twin Cities’ organizations in arts, dishes, gifts and groceries, from Mexican
politics, culture, advocacy and religious and Middle Eastern to Vietnamese,
sectors serving the community. Indian, Swedish and Italian.

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Many Hmong and Vietnamese restaurants Since the early 1960s, the Guthrie Theater
and shops are located in the Frogtown has staged outstanding shows from the
neighborhood as well, on and around classical to the modern. Popular national
University and Lexington avenues. shows and performers also tour through
Hmongtown Marketplace on Como the Twin Cities year-round at stages in
Avenue and Hmong Village on Johnson both Minneapolis and Saint Paul, and at
Parkway on St. Paul’s East Side feature a the University of Minnesota.
wide variety of traditional foods, clothing,
fabrics and crafts, as well as farmers If you are a theatre-goer in the Twin Cities
markets. you’ll never have a dull moment.
According to the Western States Arts
There are countless arts and culture Federation, Minneapolis ranks as the
offerings in the Twin Cities. The Grammy fifth- most “creatively vital” city in the
Award-winning Minnesota Orchestra has a country, right after D.C., LA, NYC and
reputation as one of the top orchestras in Boston. The Penumbra Theatre in St. Paul
the world. The Saint Paul Chamber is the country’s oldest African American
Orchestra is also regarded as one of the theater.
finest chamber orchestras in the world.
We boast more than 40 venues with a
variety that even the most seasoned
thespian would notice.

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There are the magnificent musicals that performing arts centers, and is home to a
play on the State, Orpheum, and Pantages wide variety of performances throughout
stages and lots of local talent making a the year providing the finest in musical
statement on stages such as the Southern theater, music, dance, and vocal artists in
Theater, New Century, and Illusion. its Music Theater and Concert Hall. In
Hamilton, Les Miserables and West Side addition, each year the Ordway presents
Story are a few examples of productions its Flint Hills Family Festival, serving more
that have played here. Theater is also a than 50,000 children and adults through
large component of life in Saint Paul. The its Ordway Education programs.
gorgeous 1000-seat Fitzgerald Theatre
acts as Minnesota Public Radio’s largest Dance companies such as James Sewell Ballet,
broadcast studio. Staged productions Minnesota Dance Theatre, Ragamala, Zenon
commission authors, artists and radio Dance Company and TU Dance perform at an
hosts to create programming for the array of venues including the renovated
public radio community. The Fitzgerald Cowles Center.
Theater is St. Paul’s oldest theater and
celebrated its 100th anniversary in 2010.

The Ordway Center for the Performing

Arts has been recognized as one of
America’s leading not-for-profit

For the museum-goer, there are more
than 60 museums in the metro area. The
Science Museum of Minnesota and the
Minnesota Children's Museum are
interactive learning facilities and fun
experiences for the entire family. The
African American Heritage Museum and
Gallery and the Minnesota History
Center are museum for all ages with
permanent and changing exhibits,
lectures and events.

The Minneapolis Institute of Arts has a

collection of more than 100,000 pieces.
The Walker Art Center has been called
“possibly the best contemporary art
museum in the U. S.” by Newsweek, and
has over 11,000 pieces. The University of
Minnesota's Weisman Art Museum is also
a contemporary art destination. season college baseball games of the
University of Minnesota Golden Gophers.
The Somali Museum of Minnesota on East
Lake Street features hundreds of Popular music abounds, from the Grammy-winning
traditional Somali artworks and artifacts Sounds of Blackness to Atmosphere. Outdoor
as well as educational programs. concerts and festivals such as the Basilica Block
Party and Rock the Garden are a common and
For those who prefer activity of the popular activity. After all, artists from Bob Dylan to
spectator variety, the Twin Cities is home Prince have called the Twin Cities home.
to the Minnesota Twins, Minnesota
Vikings, Minnesota Wild and the
Minnesota Timberwolves. We are also the
home of the four-time WNBA Champion
Minnesota Lynx and the Minnesota
United soccer team. We host in some of
the best sporting facilities in the county,
including Target Field, home of the
Minnesota Twins, and USBank Stadium, a
brand new, enclosed stadium where the
Minnesota Vikings host their NFL games.
Additionally, the stadium hosts early
The Twin Cities offer award-winning manufacturing, healthcare and education
restaurants (several chefs have been support their professions. Active
regional James Beard Award winners). In Chambers of commerce further business
addition to the popular Mall of America, interests and First Fridays Twin Cities
there are plenty of unique shopping celebrates African American excellence.
districts in both cities and in the suburbs.
The Twin Cities is a vibrant, richly diverse
Beyond sports, the great outdoors, Midwestern community where Minnesota
entertainment, and culture, perhaps the Nice is alive and well. We are the perfect
biggest attraction for the Twin Cities is blend of small town/big city and our
the lifestyle. Forbes hailed Saint Paul and residents pride themselves on their warm
Minneapolis as one of the nation's and welcoming ways. There is a reason
healthiest metros and USA Today named Business Insider ranked Minneapolis/St. Paul
Saint Paul as North America's “Most number nine on its Top 50 Places to Live in
Romantic City.” America. We really are all that and more!

Minneapolis/St. Paul is also proud to have

a world-class international airport. In fact,
the Airports Council International named
MSP the 2017 Best Airport in North
America in its size category, with more
than 25 million passengers a year.
Networking groups in technology,


Lars Leafblad, MBA Marcia Ballinger, PhD

Co-Founder/Principal Co-Founder/Principal
612-598-7547 651-341-4840
lars@ballingerleafblad.com marcia@ballingerleafblad.com