Humphrey School Alumnus Matt Swenson to Work for Obama Administration
August 15, 2016—Matt Swenson, Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton’s press secretary and a Humphrey School alumnus, has been appointed to a position in the Executive Office of President Barack Obama.
Swenson (MPP ’09), who has been working in Dayton’s administration for more than five years, will become press secretary for the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative for the remainder of President Obama’s term.
“While I will greatly miss Minnesota, my family, and friends over the next five months, I am thrilled to take on this new opportunity,” said Swenson.
Swenson, 32, is a veteran of the Minnesota political scene. Prior to joining the governor’s communications staff in 2012, he worked at the state Commerce Department and as a staffer in the Minnesota House.
Swenson has been an active representative of the Humphrey School, serving on the Alumni Board of Directors from 2010–2016. He also represented the School on the University of Minnesota’s Alumni Association Collegiate Council for three years.
Humphrey School Associate Dean Laura Bloomberg says Swenson will be a tremendous asset to the Obama Administration. “I’m delighted to hear that Matt has the opportunity to serve in Washington, as so many of our graduates do. At the Humphrey School, we work to provide young leaders with the skills and tools needed to lead here in Minnesota, around the nation and the world. Success stories like Matt’s continue to make us proud of the work we do.”
Swenson was one of 30 finalists for the 2015-2016 White House Fellows Program, a highly competitive program for young professionals in public service. Although he was not awarded a fellowship, the position at the Trade Office followed shortly afterward.
Swenson is taking a leave of absence from his duties in the governor’s office effective August 22, and is planning to return to the job in February. While he’s gone, deputy press secretary Sam Fettig will take over as the governor’s main spokesman.
Dayton, Lieutenant Governor Tina Smith and his colleagues in the administration have been “incredibly supportive” of the move, Swenson said.
Swenson, a native of Champlin, Minnesota, earned his bachelor’s degree from Gustavus Adolphus College in St. Peter.