(June 13, 2013) — The Minnesota Council on Foundations (MCF) announced today the appointment of Trista Harris as the association’s next president.
Harris is known nationally as a passionate advocate for new leaders in the philanthropic and nonprofit sectors. She has most recently served as executive director of the Headwaters Foundation for Justice in Minneapolis, and she is chair of the national board of advisors of Emerging Practitioners in Philanthropy (EPIP).
“The MCF board is convinced that Trista Harris is the right leader at the right time,” says Kevin Walker, chair of MCF’s board of directors, and president and CEO of Northwest Area Foundation. “Our members’ communities, our state, and the world are changing fast. Trista’s passion for unlocking philanthropy’s potential is a great fit for the challenges we face.”
Harris’ prior professional experience includes service as program officer at The Saint Paul Foundation and Minnesota Community Foundation (now Minnesota Philanthropy Partners), as development director at Portico Healthnet, a nonprofit providing health coverage and education to uninsured Minnesotans, and in various research and management positions at other nonprofit organizations.
An accomplished author and speaker, Harris writes about generational changes in philanthropy on her blog, New Voices of Philanthropy. She has been featured on CNN and her work has been covered by the Chronicle of Philanthropy, the New York Times, the Minneapolis St. Paul Business Journal and numerous social sector blogs.
Recognized for promoting best practices in grantmaking that build capacity of nonprofits while creating measurable social change in the community, Harris is excited to join MCF, one of the leading regional philanthropic associations in the country. “I look forward to this opportunity to lead MCF and its members to the next level of effectiveness in the community,” she says.
Harris will succeed Bill King, who is retiring this summer after 25 years of service to MCF. “During his tenure, and particularly during his 12 years as president, Bill has created a remarkable legacy,” notes Walker. “He leaves behind a strong, vibrant association.”
MCF’s current strategic focus on public policy engagement and building equity meshes well with Harris’ professional vision and educational experience. She earned her master’s of public policy degree from the Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs, University of Minnesota, and her bachelor of arts from Howard University, Washington, DC. She also completed the Public Policy and International Affairs Program at Princeton University, Princeton, NJ.
Harris will officially join the organization on July 29, 2013. The search for Bill King’s successor was conducted by a search committee of the MCF board, led by board and executive committee member Nancy Nelson. Nelson is a board member of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota Foundation and is vice president, chief actuary of the company.
About the Minnesota Council on Foundations
The Minnesota Council on Foundations (MCF) works actively to expand and strengthen a vibrant community of diverse grantmakers who individually and collectively advance the common good. MCF members represent three-quarters of all grantmaking in the state, awarding almost $1 billion annually. Members include private family and independent foundations, community and other public foundations, and corporate foundations and giving programs. For more information, visit www.mcf.org.