The Blandin Foundation, one of the largest foundations in Minnesota, has a new CEO after a 10-month national search.

The foundation's trustees recently voted to select Tuleah Palmer, executive director of the Northwest Indian Community Development Center in Bemidji, out of more than 100 candidates to lead the Grand Rapids private foundation as president and CEO.

Palmer, a Deer River native and Bemidji State University graduate, will start July 13. She has worked as a leader in northern Minnesota for nearly three decades and is also a member of the Governor's Workforce Development Board, which recommends policies to Gov. Tim Walz and the Legislature.

"Her vision, energy, and innovation will lead the Blandin Foundation to a whole new level of impact and relevance," board Chair Heidi Korstad said in a statement. "Even better, she is of rural Minnesota."

The foundation was founded in 1941 by Charles K. Blandin, owner of the Blandin Paper Co., and focuses on rural economic development issues. It has more than $400 million in assets and gave out $17 million in 2018.

Palmer succeeds Kathy Annette, who led the foundation since 2011 before retiring, part of a wave of retirements in the nonprofit sector.