Krister Karlsson, President
After graduating with a degree in Business & Economics from Kalamazoo College, Krister moved to Sweden where he earned a Master’s in Politics and International Studies from Uppsala University. Now back home in Minnesota, Krister joins the MINN board of directors with over 10 years experience - spanning five countries and four continents - in the public, private, and nonprofit sectors.
Alyce Eaton, Vice-President
Alyce Eaton is an Evaluator I at Professional Data Analysts. Her previous experience includes working in the Research Department at the Center for Victims of Torture and completing her Master's degree in Human Rights with a capstone project in Nepal. Alyce volunteered on the Summit Evaluation Committee for three years before joining MINN’s board.
Karissa Neupert, Membership Manager
Karissa started with MINN by volunteering on the Program Committee, and has returned as the Membership Manager after consulting abroad for a few years. Karissa's background is primarily in refugee protection- both domestically and internationally. She currently works in HR and lives in Saint Paul. She loves connecting with folks interested in international work and loves supporting MINN.
Grace Ogihara, Communications Manager
Grace has a background in nonprofit communications, photography, and graphic design. Her role includes producing the biweekly newsletter and social media content, updating the website, and whatever else is needed to tell MINN's story. She currently volunteers with the International Association for Refugees at their Twin Cities project.
Dr. Brita Midness, Volunteer Manager
Brita enjoys building community through meaningful volunteerism. She has a background in nonprofit capacity building, community engagement and international relations. After living, working and studying internationally for many years, she is thrilled to be back in Minnesota to help build a community of global NGO practitioners. She holds a BA from Colby College (USA), a M.Litt in Peace and Conflict Studies from the University of St Andrews (Scotland) and a PhD in International Relations from the University of St Andrews.
Nancy Silva, Summit Co-Chair
Nancy is an analyst with MMCAP Infuse, her focus is in data reporting and website development. She attended St. Catherine University in St. Paul, MN and has a background in public health. Most of Nancy's experience is in addressing and understanding socioeconomic inequalities and pushing efforts to reduce gaps in socioeconomic status.
Kelsey King, Summit Co-Chair
Kelsey is excited by continual learning, local and global community engagement, and building an impactful career that leverages her passion for sustainable food and agricultural value chains. She currently works in on-farm dairy sustainability at Land O'Lakes and her career has included roles across the supply chain, encompassing food safety, manufacturing, and logistics. She has also worked as a technical advisor on USAID enterprise development and Farmer-to-Farmer projects, implemented by Venture37, in Sri Lanka and Egypt. She studied Agricultural Business with minors in Ethnic Studies and Spanish at Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo. Kelsey may be a transplant to Minnesota, but she has deeply enjoyed the community she has found here through her involvement with MINN, Comunidades Latinas Unidas en Servicio, the Minneapolis Hub of Global Shapers, and the Big Butter broomball team!
Sarah Novack, Summit Co-Chair
Sarah Novack is a Grant Specialist at the Center for Victims of Torture, a nonprofit delivering behavioral health services to vulnerable populations and training advocates and providers on trauma and resiliency. She earned a Master’s in Public Policy from the University of Minnesota and served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Liberia and Tanzania. Sarah’s interests include hiking and spending time outside, going to bar trivia, and drinking coffee.
Laura Skubic, Program Co-Chair
Laura has 11+ years of nonprofit experience throughout many different sectors, including hunger relief, housing insecurity, workforce development, and more. Meeting new people and connecting people to one another are some of her favorite things, and she's looking forward to expanding her INGO network through MINN.
Lauren Eimers, Program Co-Chair
Lauren Eimers has a background in government affairs, strategic partnerships, and program management. She currently works in destination marketing with Travel Leaders Group, where she manages relationships with tourism agencies worldwide to drive visitation to partner destinations. After volunteering with Fellows and Summit, Lauren is excited to work with MINN's Program Committee as a Co-Chair.
Brian McNamara, Program Co-Chair
Brian is a current Master of Public Policy student at the Humphrey School of Public affairs focusing on advanced policy analysis methods. His goal is to pursue a career in international development and program evaluation. He's interested in policy research as a way to improve development outcomes for the people most affected by these programs. He also has considerable experience working with several non-profits in Latin-America around these themes. Brian enjoys travel, community-based work, and looking for answers to complicated research questions.
Karen Baumgaertner, Fellows Co-Chair
Karen is the original co-founder of the Minnesota International NGO Network (MINN) back in 2005. Although Karen has scaled back her direct involvement in MINN over the years, she is excited to serve as a volunteer leader on the MINN Fellows committee. Last year Karen shadowed the previous Fellows committee chair and learned so much from the dynamic 2019-20 cohort that she volunteered to stay on another year to support the next group of Fellows. Karen has worked in the international sector for over 20 years. She currently consults and serves as adjunct faculty for the International Development Master's program at St Mary's University of Minnesota.
Jennifer Bubke, Fellows Co-Chair
Jennifer Bubke is a Grants Analyst with Alight. She has over eight years of experience in international development, including migration development and grants management. After living and working in Pakistan for two years, she returned to Minnesota and now lives in St. Paul. Jennifer has a B.A. in Political Science and International Studies and a M.A. in International Relations with a focus on International Organizations and International Development.