The Minneapolis Foundation Names Chanda Smith Baker New Sr. VP of Community Impact

Monday, June 12, 2017

The Minneapolis Foundation is pleased to announce that Chanda Smith Baker will serve as its next Senior Vice President of Community Impact. Smith Baker’s first day at the Foundation will be September 5.

Smith Baker, who is currently President and CEO of Pillsbury United Communities, is a results-driven leader with 25 years of nonprofit and community experience. A lifelong resident of North Minneapolis, Smith Baker has a broad and deep network of relationships in Minneapolis-St. Paul, a long track record of providing business insight and transformational leadership, and a strong vision of how to create a community where social, racial, and economic equity thrive – a driving value of The Minneapolis Foundation.

“Chanda has an extraordinary breadth of experience across the city in education, employment, and much more,” said R.T. Rybak, President and CEO of The Minneapolis Foundation. “For many years I have seen her exceptional capacity to build on the assets in community, including her heroic work helping to lead the collective response of neighbors, government and philanthropy after the 2011 north Minneapolis tornado. She will bring the many voices of community into the work of The Minneapolis Foundation’s 1,700 donors and fund advisors, and help us deliver even more impact where it is needed most.”

In her new role, Smith Baker will oversee the Foundation’s Community Impact team and its competitive grantmaking program, which distributes $5 million to $7 million every year to transform education, foster economic vitality, and promote civic engagement in greater Minneapolis-St. Paul. She will also provide strategic direction and leadership to the Foundation’s community initiatives and will partner with organizations and leaders across the city and state, as well as the Foundation’s donors, to increase their alignment and collective impact in the community.

“The driving passion of my career has been to strengthen this incredible community that we call home,” Smith Baker said. “I’m honored to build on that work at The Minneapolis Foundation, and I look forward to working with the Foundation’s board, staff, and nonprofit partners.”

Smith Baker will assume her new role at the Foundation on September 5 to ensure a seamless transition for Pillsbury United Communities.

At Pillsbury United Communities, Smith Baker is responsible for 180 employees and the operations of five neighborhood centers, a training center, and social enterprises. Her tenure at the organization stretches back to 2000; before taking the helm at Pillsbury in 2011, she served as its Chief Learning Officer, and prior to that as Vice President of Strategic Partnerships, Director of Government and Community Relations, and Director of the Oak Park Neighborhood Center.

In addition to her work with Pillsbury United Communities, Smith Baker sits on the boards of directors of the Greater Twin Cities United Way, the Minneapolis Regional Chamber of Commerce, Public Allies National, CommonBond and the International Federation of Settlements. She also serves on the national advisory board of the Carnegie Foundation’s Community Engagement Classification (NERCHE). Smith Baker holds a Master of Arts degree in Organizational Management and Communications from Concordia University.

For more information on The Minneapolis Foundation’s Community Impact grants program, visit

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