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Minnesota Council on Foundations names Trista Harris as president

  • June 17, 2013 - 6:10 PM

PHILANTHROPY

JEAN HOPFENSPERGER

The Minnesota Council on Foundations has appointed Trista Harris as its new president, taking the helm from Bill King.

Harris is the executive director of the Headwaters Foundation for Justice in Minneapolis, and is active nationally in philanthropic issues.

She is the chair of the national board of advisers of the Emerging Practitioners in Philanthropy, a national network that supports effective leadership development for the next generation of philanthropists.

She also has written about generational changes in her blog, New Voices of Philanthropy, for a half dozen years. She’s been featured in a variety of national and local publications, including the Chronicle of Philanthropy.

Harris is the co-author of the 2011 book, “How to Become a Nonprofit Rock Star: 50 Ways to Accelerate Your Career.”

“Our members’ communities, our state, and the world are changing fast,” said Kevin Walker, chair of MCF’s board of directors. “Trista’s passion for unlocking philanthropy’s potential is a great fit for the challenges we face.”

Harris brings experience in philanthropy and nonprofits. She was a program officer at the St. Paul Foundation and Minnesota Community Foundation, for example, and a development director at Portico Healthnet, a St. Paul nonprofit that helps uninsured Minnesotans get access to coverage.

Harris holds an M.A. in Public Policy from the Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs at the University of Minnesota and a B.A. from Howard University in Washington D.C.

Harris said she is excited to join the council.

“I’m passionate about the field of philanthropy,” Harris said. “I think the foundation has done really great work over the years. I’m looking forward to doing even more great work.”

Harris is recognized for promoting best practices in grantmaking, and creating measurable social change in communities, the council said.

She will begin work July 29, when King — MCF’s president for a dozen years — will retire. Said Walker: “He leaves behind a strong, vibrant association.’’

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