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Press Release

Announcing New Positions to Expand Impact for Gender & Racial Justice

Today, the Women’s Foundation of Minnesota announced the appointment of new staff members and a consultant to join a dedicated team driving systems change for gender and racial justice.

On April 1, Chanida Phaengdara Potter will join WFMN as the Vice President of Strategic Communications and Narrative Change. In this role, Chanida will lead WFMN’s strategic communications and marketing strategies, publicize impact and leadership in community investments, policy change, and research. This position will increase awareness through storytelling and narrative change to advance gender and racial justice. Chanida will begin after a brief sabbatical following her departure as Executive Director and Community Architect with The SEAD (Southeast Asian Diaspora) Project, the organization she founded, which became a home for creative community building and cultural organizing for, with, and by Southeast Asian diasporas.

This month, Cynthia Bauerly becomes the first WFMN Public Policy Executive in Residence and will leverage WFMN’s policy initiatives as a driver of social change. This consultant role will research, identify, and recommend public policy agendas and engagement strategies in alignment with the Board of Trustee-approved strategic plan. The Executive in Residence will work collaboratively with community organizations to coordinate and build upon shared agendas to drive social change for gender and racial justice. After decades of leadership roles in law, management, and public policy in Washington D.C. and in Minnesota, Cynthia now works as an organizational consultant and executive coach. Most recently, she served as Commissioner of the Minnesota Department of Revenue from 2015 to 2020.

On January 10, Nina Robertson joined WFMN as the Director of Systems Change to support and implement the Foundation’s strategic plan to end systemic inequities and drive innovation for gender and racial justice. In this role, Nina will leverage partnerships for community impact, learning, evaluation, and research to ensure partnership alignment to advance systems change for gender and racial justice in Minnesota. Nina will also work directly with the Executive Council for the Young Women’s Initiative of Minnesota to support their actions to increase young women’s pathways to economic opportunity. Nina was most recently vice president of programs at the African American Leadership Forum. In 2021, Nina was named as a 40 Under 40 honoree by the Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal for her leadership and service.

On January 18, James Arroyo Miller will be the Community Impact Project Manager and will support WFMN’s impact with partners by project managing programs and projects, evaluation, and storytelling to advance the field for gender and racial justice. James has spent the last decade in youth-serving positions between Minneapolis and Duluth that has always aligned with cultivating leaders, removing barriers to opportunity, and creating safer spaces. Most recently he has worked towards improving college access opportunities for underserved public school students at LearningWorks: a Breakthrough Program, and mentoring a group of aspiring writers and performers on the DeLaSalle High School speech team.

In November, Hannah Elias joined WFMN as Grants Manager, responsible for supporting the Foundation’s programs and grantmaking through project management and grants administration including processing grant applications and maintaining the hygiene and integrity of the grant database. Prior to joining WFMN, Hannah was Development Operations Specialist at Planned Parenthood North Central States, and the Finance and Development Associate at The Cowles Center for Dance and Performing Arts.

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