MINN Summit

  • Posted on: 17 June 2017
  • By: minnesotangos


The MINN Summit is an annual conference offering local organizations and globally minded individuals a forum to connect, share, and learn. MINN’s annual Summit provides exciting professional development opportunities, offers insights, and sparks conversations that will propel international development success in a changing world. 


Where: Hubert H. Humphrey School of Public Affairs
301 19th Ave S
Minneapolis MN, 55455


All participants are invited to a networking happy hour after the Summit at Red Sea Ethiopian Restaurant located at 320 Cedar Ave South, Minneapolis, MN 55454.


Register today.



Sponsored by Global Minnesota

Abraham Leno, executive director of Eastern Congo Initiative, has spent his life promoting health, dignity, and joy in the world’s most difficult places — starting in Guinea, where he and his family were refugees themselves for eleven years. As a humanitarian leader, Abraham has led relief and development efforts in Liberia, South Sudan, Darfur, Ethiopia, Balochistan in Pakistan, and now the Democratic Republic of the Congo. In 2012 in DRC, Abraham helped co-create and implement the revolutionary Asili business model, a key part of ECI’s commitment to supporting locally led initiatives. When he is not traveling throughout DRC or U.S., Abraham splits his time between Kigali, Washington D.C., and Bukavu.

Eastern Congo Initiative (ECI) knows that the best solutions to the world's toughest problems come from those that live with those challenges every day. Founded by Ben Affleck and Whitney Williams, ECI advocates for the boundless potential of the Congolese people, strengthens markets for Congolese goods, and invests directly in community-based organizations that are building lasting, positive change. Together with Congolese innovators, ECI is working to revolutionize how the world approaches humanitarian aid, for good.

James Rice, Chairman of Akadimi Foundation, has 40 years health sector capacity development experience in 35 countries of Asia, Africa and Latin America. He has lead several public and private health system organizations and received Distinguished Alumnus UMN School of Public Health, Bush Fellowship, and National Institute of Health Doctoral Fellowship. He has held faculty positions at Advance Institute Prague, Strathmore University Nairobi, Nelson Mandela School of Medicine Durban, and Cambridge University.

Session: Stronger Governance for Greater Outcomes

Dr. Rice will explore how effective governing bodies of health sector organizations assess, develop, and continuously improve their governance structures, processes, and competencies in Low and Middle Income countries in Africa, Asia, and Latin America.

Mustafa Omar is the Chief Executive Officer of Shelter For Life International, an international relief and development organization, based in Minnesota. Mr. Omar was born and raised in Kabul, Afghanistan and has worked in post-conflict reconstruction and market-revitalization efforts in Central Asia, East and West Africa and Middle East for the past twenty (20) plus years. Mustafa holds graduate degrees in applied economics and in urban planning and is currently working on a PhD in Carter School for Peace and Conflict Resolution at George Mason University. Topics of research and professional interest include Market Resilience and Social Risk-Management, Impact of Improving Physical Space on Lasting Peace, and the Interaction between Modern Governance and Informal Market Structures.

Session: Stabilizing Fragile Markets - The Curses and Blessings of Speedy Progress 

When conflict presumably ends, experts and wanna-be experts have often advocated for quick stabilization efforts. How fast is too fast? How slow is too slow? Is rapid post-conflict reconstruction sustainable? What have we learned from Afghanistan, Iraq, and Senegal? Let's explore this topic together.

Sara McGarraugh is a Managing Consultant at The Improve Group, a Minnesota-based evaluation firm. Sara loves seeing the spark in people when they learn something new that helps their work. For Sara, it’s even better when the tip they learned makes work easier. Sara’s strengths as a trainer spring from her optimism, pragmatism, and emphasis on collaboration. Sara routinely facilitates trainings for nonprofit staff through the Minnesota Council of Nonprofits. She also draws on experience across more than 40 projects with different clients and needs, but she always brings a dose of humility as a trainer because she knows there is often more than one right answer, and even when there is, it isn’t always hers.

Kayla Meyers is the Evaluation & Research Manager at Children’s HeartLink. She joined this position in early 2022 after almost a decade of consulting with mission-driven organizations on evaluation and strategic planning. Kayla brings her passion for representing the work of Children’s HeartLink through data and stories shared by those most impacted through the work. She facilitates collaborative, thoughtful experiences that cultivate creating efficient and sustainable solutions for data collection, management, analysis, and reporting. When she’s not at work, you can find her with her husband and two little boys at a playground or walking trail.

Session: Solutions Salon: Topics in evaluation


In this Solutions Salon, Kayla and Sara will present five topics for the group to discuss and explore. The introductory topic will be prioritizing evaluation wants as you're getting started. Intermediate evaluation topics include: how to build stronger evaluation practices with the data you are collecting, and how to collect data in a hybrid environment. The more advanced topics include building transparency and communication in your evaluation practices, and a discussion on reflexivity in evaluation (how do our identities influence the evaluations we design?).

Shannon Salentine is an executive leadership coach, facilitator, and global development consultant. She works one on one with individuals and groups to find clarity in their purpose, take action, and make a difference in the world. Shannon believes that radical self-trust, understanding your life purpose, and acting courageously are keys to living the fully integrated and authentic life you deserve. She is the Founder of Lead for Good, a coaching company that supports leaders and organizations to reimagine, reconnect, and recommit support for those who are taking the steps to make a difference in our world. www.leadforgood.co

Session: Overcoming Burnout for Purpose Driven Leaders

Leaders committed to mission driven work often contend with the tension between doing whatever it takes to advance a vision and having the energy to sustain it. This can result in overwork or burnout. WHO defines burn-out as a syndrome that results from chronic workplace stress that has not been successfully managed. It is characterized by three dimensions: feelings of energy depletion or exhaustion; increased mental distance from one’s job, or feelings of negativism or cynicism related to one's job; and reduced professional efficacy

Strategies and tools that build self-awareness and recovery helps leaders navigate burnout. Participants will leave this interactive session grounded in their own strengths with new perspectives, tools, practices, and the spirit of collective resilience and connection to fuel them. Session Objectives:

● Define burnout and its five stages

● Learn and discuss three strategies for overcoming stress

● Commit to one supportive action to overcome burnout right now

Aanne Atomssa is an experienced HR administrator and Payroll/Account Payable Specialist, Board member of the Roseville Rotary Club, and founder of Numaan, a non-profit working on social justices in Ethiopia. Aanne’s passion for helping can be traced to her pre-professional days as a member of a youth group and other organizations, some she is still part of today. Through Numaan, she is helping provide clean water, enable young girls to stay in school, and mentor the younger generation.

Session: Numaan: A Community-led Approach in Ethiopia

Numaan, which means by us” in Oromo, is an organization built with the strong belief that people are capable of finding solutions for their social problems that are preventing them from accessing opportunities and achieving their full potential. Numaan strives to work with communities in Ethiopia to help them identify issues and inspire people to develop solutions that are creative and appropriate to the needs of the community, with an emphasis on lifting the voices of the youth and women in their communities.

This presentation will dive into why Numaan was founded, the importance of a community-led approach to development, and the need for solutions that are human-centered. The learning goals and outcomes are for attendees to have a stronger understanding of what community-led development can look like and how to co-design human-centered solutions.

Anne Stake, Chief Strategy and Product Officer, Medtronic LABS

As the chief strategy and product officer at Medtronic LABS, Anne Stake is responsible for defining the strategic vision for the future of LABS as well as designing tech-enabled health care delivery models for underserved communities. Prior to LABS, she spent over a decade working at the intersection of design, business model innovation, and public policy, including roles at Clinton Health Access Initiative, the Ministry of Health in Rwanda, Idea Couture, and IDEO. She brings experience designing alongside communities in Rwanda, Kenya, Ghana, Tanzania, India, and the United States.

Session: Medtronic LABS: Scaling tech-enabled, community-centered healthcare delivery

Sponsored by Books for Africa

Panel: International News Decision-making: What Stories Get Covered?

Panel Moderator: Tom Gitaa, Publisher, Mshale

Join Paul Ferguson, manager of News Technology Integration at CNN and Fred de Sam Lazaro, correspondent of PBS NewsHour and executive director of the Under-Told Stories Project as they discuss decision-making in international news.


Moderator: Tom Gitaa, Publisher, Mshale

Paul Ferguson began in journalism when newsrooms were filled with the staccato of manual typewriters and swirled in cigarette smoke haze. His first job was as a sorter in the mail room. He went on to report, produce manage news teams in combat zones and natural disasters around the world. In more than 25 years at CNN, he has managed reporters, producers and cameramen in large-scale news events including the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. He has played a key role in developing new tools and methods for CNN’s field operations.  His current role oversees the infrastructure and people that connect CNN’s network of 200 affiliate stations outside the USA and Canada. 

Fred de Sam Lazaro is executive director of the Under-Told Stories Project and correspondent for the PBS NewsHour. He was a regular contributor and substitute anchor for PBS’ Religion and Ethics Newsweekly. Fred also has directed films from India and the Democratic Republic of Congo for the acclaimed documentary series, Wide Angle.

Fred has reported from 70 countries with a focus on the myriad issues that underlie poverty and human suffering.  He founded the Under-Told Stories Project, now located at the University of St. Thomas, designed to use storytelling to enhance students’ understanding of the pressing global issues of our time.

Fred has received three honorary doctorates, numerous journalism awards and fellowships from the Kaiser Family Foundation and the University of Michigan. He serves on the board of Sahan Journal, a non-profit news service and has served on boards of the College of St. Scholastica, in Duluth, MN, his alma mater, the Asian American Journalists Association and the Children’s Law Center of Minnesota. Fred was born in Bangalore, India and lives in St. Paul

Our generous sponsors make the Summit possible. Become one today. Thank you so much to our 2022 sponsors, exhibitors, & community partners:

If you are a confirmed sponsor and do not see yourself listed, please send your logo to [email protected].

Conference Sponsor:

Humphrey School of Public Affairs

Keynote Sponsor:

Books for Africa

Gold Sponsors:

Alight (formerly American Refugee Committee)


Program Sponsors:

GHR Foundation - Registration Sponsor

Land O'Lakes (Venture 37)

Silver Sponsors:

OneVillage Partners

Bronze Sponsors:

EOS International

Rufo Jiru

MINNER Circle Sponsors:

Patrick Plonski

Natasha Brownlee

Jim Rice

Mark Lindberg

Carole Patrikakos

Catherine Ryan

Karen Baumgaertner (+ student tickets)

Nonviolent Peaceforce

Dawn Pauls

Nicholas Hayen

Tyler Vogel

Mark Ritchie

Children's Heartlink

Mary's Pence

Fellows Sponsor:

McKnight Foundation


Rural Health Care Initiative

Global Mama's

Mary's Pence

Give Us Wings

The Impact Hub

Disability Support International

School for International Training

Arm in Arm Africa

Nonviolent Peaceforce

Land O'Lakes (Venture 37)

Books For Africa



Global Minnesota

OneVillage Partners

GHR Foundation

Community partners

Afro Deli