Nonprofit Leader Chanda Smith Baker to Deliver Humphrey School Commencement Address

April 27, 2023
Portrait of Chanda Smith Baker
Chanda Smith Baker, senior vice president at the Minneapolis Foundation, will deliver the keynote address at the Humphrey School's 2023 commencement ceremony on May 13.

The Humphrey School of Public Affairs is pleased to announce that Chanda Smith Baker, chief impact officer and senior vice president at the Minneapolis Foundation, will deliver the keynote address at the School’s 2023 commencement ceremony on May 13. 

Her expertise in cultural and organizational transformation, talent management, and fluency in diversity, equity, and inclusion has had a positive impact in the Twin Cities and beyond for more than 25 years. 

In her current role, Baker oversees the Minneapolis Foundation’s grant-making programs, providing strategic direction to community initiatives and multi-sector partnerships. 

“Our students come to the Humphrey School because they want to better their communities and create lasting change. Chanda Smith Baker embodies those ideals through her localized advocacy and leadership,” Dean Nisha Botchwey said. “Her commitment to addressing systemic barriers, equal rights, and gender and racial disparities aligns so well with our School’s mission and I'm confident her message will inspire us all.”

Prior to her time at the Minneapolis Foundation, Baker spent 17 years at Pillsbury United Communities, a complex community-based nonprofit where she served in a variety of leadership positions before assuming the role of president and CEO in 2011. 

Baker is a co-founder and chair of the Black Collective Foundation, an effort that launched in 2020 in response to the murder of George Floyd and subsequent uprising. She  has served on numerous nonprofit and philanthropic boards throughout her career, and her civic leadership has been recognized with several awards and commendations.

The Humphrey School's commencement ceremony will take place Saturday, May 13, at 4 p.m. at Ted Mann Concert Hall on the University of Minnesota’s West Bank.