It is with great excitement to introduce to you our new Public Policy Director, Amanda Koonjbeharry.
Amanda brings outstanding experience in leading government initiatives, coalition building, project management, and facilitating conversations to this important role.
Amanda previously served as the Director of No Wrong Door, Hennepin County’s anti-sex trafficking initiative. In this role, she oversaw the implementation of the county-wide six-point plan to end and prevent the commercial sexual exploitation of children and youth. She did this by leading efforts to educate the community and Hennepin County staff about the issue of sexual exploitation and sex trafficking. She co-led the state-wide anti-sex trafficking committee for Super Bowl LII, advocated for funding from county leadership and the board to secure positions in multiple departments to address the issue, and managed multiple stakeholder groups to advance policy and programmatic changes.
Amanda understands the importance of engaging diverse communities and stakeholders to help craft the most equitable, practical, and sustainable policy solutions.
“The people most impacted by issues should be the drivers of the solutions; something I learned during my time doing anti-sex trafficking work,” Amanda told us. “The Citizens League does an excellent job of bringing communities and people of diverse backgrounds together to create balanced, thoughtful, and impactful policy solutions. I’m excited to lead this work.”
Her experience and proven ability to bring people with differing views together for a common goal makes her a tremendous asset to the Citizens League, and Minnesota.
Previously, Koonjbeharry worked as a Senior Planning Analyst at Hennepin County, a Program Coordinator for the University of Minnesota’s Office for Business and Community Economic Development, a School Based Family Support Worker for 360 Communities (Partners for Success), and an Employment Counselor for Avivo (formerly known as Resource Inc.). Koonjbeharry has a bachelor’s degree in Family Social Science from the University of Minnesota, a Master’s of Social Work from the U of M’s School of Social Work, and a Master’s of Public Policy from the U of M’s Humphrey School of Public Affairs. In 2018, she was a Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal 40 Under 40 Honoree.
Amanda’s efforts will be focused on the Citizens League’s long-term focus areas: better serving Minnesota’s aging population, recruiting and retaining a skilled workforce in Minnesota, and being a strong partner with all levels of government. She will also oversee the Citizens League’s civic leadership efforts and will engage people from different backgrounds, parties, and ideologies to activate their role in policymaking.
We are thrilled to welcome her to the team!