New Leaders Named for Humphrey School Research Centers

January 14, 2021

Two widely respected research centers based at the Humphrey School of Public Affairs—the Future Services Institute and the Center for Integrative Leadership—have named new leaders to begin 2021. 

Future Services Institute 


Portrait of Henriet Hendriks
Henriët Hendriks, the new director of the Future
Services Institute.

Henriët Hendriks is the new director of the Future Services Institute (FSI), following the departures of the Institute’s co-founders—Professor Jodi Sandfort, who left to become dean of the University of Washington’s Evans School of Public Policy & Governance, and former director Sook Jin Ong (MPP ‘12), who has joined Second Harvest Heartland as its first director of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion.  

FSI is an applied research and training center that works with state and local government agencies and nonprofits to improve the delivery of human services to individuals in need.

It focuses on a human-centered design approach that keeps the needs and daily realities of struggling families and individuals at the forefront.

Hendriks joined FSI in 2019 as its research and evaluation director, and has extensive experience working in state government and academia.

“2020 has been a catalyst of turbulent change for everyone, including the team at FSI. We have all experienced new challenges, loss, grief, and constant shifting of our attention,” said Hendriks. “And through our work with our partners and this community, we have also witnessed resilience, a collective spirit, innovation, and a commitment to hold and face these challenges together.”

Before joining FSI, Hendriks was a management consultant with Minnesota Management and Budget and worked with a variety of state agencies on program evaluations, administrative assessments, and stakeholder engagement. She also taught at St. Olaf College and Susquehanna University, including courses on campaigns and elections, media and politics, and political psychology.

Hendriks holds a PhD in political science from the University of Minnesota and a BA in American studies from the University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands.

Center for Integrative Leadership


Portrait of Samantha Silker
Samantha Silker has been named program director
of the Center for Integrative Leadership. 

Samantha Silker has been promoted to program director of the Center for Integrative Leadership (CIL), with overall responsibility for the Center’s operations and programming. She has served as CIL’s program manager since 2019.

Vanessa Laird, the Center’s executive director, is stepping down from that role effective January 15. She will continue as a senior fellow of CIL, a member of the Humphrey School graduate faculty and Law School affiliate faculty, and a participant in the faculty rotation for the Integrative Leadership Seminar. 

CIL is a University-wide initiative affiliated with five schools—the Humphrey School, the Carlson School of Management, the College of Education and Human Development, the School of Public Health, and the Law School—focused on learning, research, and discussion to foster shared leadership for public good across government, business, and nonprofits. 

“Now more than ever, the importance of and our commitment to working together across boundaries for the good of all is needed,” said Silker. “I’m excited for the opportunity to continue the great work the Center is doing to build understanding and capacity for cross-sectoral leadership.”

Since joining CIL in 2019, Silker has worked with both community and University partners to develop and oversee the Center’s programming and manage its operations. She has broad experience at the University of Minnesota, including positions with the Carlson School’s Medical Industry Leadership Institute and University Housing and Residential Life. 

Prior to joining the University, Silker managed and coordinated operations for nonprofit and for-profit organizations. She earned her MBA from the Carlson School of Management, and her BS in communication studies and political science from the University of Wisconsin – La Crosse.