The Saint Paul & Minnesota Foundation Announces New Board Members

Tuesday, December 13, 2022

The Saint Paul & Minnesota Foundation (the Foundation) today announced the election of Nausheena Hussain, Richard Senese and Bo Thao-Urabe to its board of directors.

"We are delighted to welcome three new board members who, together, will bring diverse expertise and insight to the work of the Foundation," said Foundation Chair Jan Angell. "As an organization, we are committed to ensuring that our board represents a range of lived experiences from varied community and industry sectors. Our newest members will enable us to meet this commitment."

Joining the Foundation board are:

Nausheena Hussain, a social justice activist, is principal of Nissa Consulting, providing services to Muslim-led non-profits and organizing Muslim philanthropy. She is currently the co-founder and executive director emerita of Reviving the Islamic Sisterhood for Empowerment, a platform established in 2016 for Muslim women by Muslim woman to raise up and celebrate their positive community impact. Hussain is the former deputy director of the Minnesota Chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations and currently serves on the board of the Center on Muslim Philanthropy. She is co-founder and board secretary of the Brooklyn Park Islamic Center and co-founder of the Muslim Youth Leadership Award. Previously, Hussain was a committee member of the Headwaters Foundation for Justice Community Innovation and Social Change Fund. She is a candidate for a doctorate in philanthropic leadership at the Lily School of Philanthropy, Indiana University. Hussain’s leadership has been recognized by the Minnesota Council of Nonprofits and the Minnesota Women’s Press. 

Richard Senese, Ph.D., L.P., is president of Capella University. His work has expanded the university’s FlexPath offerings, which provide one of the country’s foremost direct assessment, competency-based learning formats, providing students the ability to have greater control setting their pace. Senese has been a leader in academic innovation, including establishing the Capella Fellows program that helps participants build the talent and leadership skills required to mitigate social and economic inequities in the communities it serves. Active nationally in higher education leadership, Senese serves on the Presidents Forum board and is treasurer of LGBTQ Presidents in Higher Education. He is a board member and past board chair of the Center for Victims of Torture and has served as a member of the Foundation’s development committee. In 2019 the Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal recognized Senese for his commitment to the LGBTQ community. A former professor at St. Olaf College, Metropolitan State University and the College of St. Scholastica, Senese has held leadership roles at the University of Minnesota Extension and was associate dean of Capella University’s Harold Abel School of Psychology.

Bo Thao-Urabe is founder and president of Seed. Grow. Bloom LLC, a consulting company that partners with executive leaders and organizations to create transformative solutions to change systems and cultures. Immigrating as a refugee child from Laos, her experiences at the intersections of war, poverty, immigration, gender, culture and race inform how she leads and innovates. Thao-Urabe was founder and executive director of the Coalition of Asian American Leaders and executive director of Hmong National Development and the Women's Association of Hmong and Lao and served as senior director of Asian Americans/Pacific Islanders in Philanthropy. She co-founded RedGreen Rivers, BMPP Giving Circle, MaivPAC, Building Our Future: A Global Community Campaign, Asian Pacific Islander Institute on Gender‐Based Violence and Hmong Women Achieving Together. Thao-Urabe was a Bush Fellow in 2019 and received the Foundation’s Facing Race Award, the National

Philanthropy Day Award, AZNS Most Influential Asian Americans Award, Augsburg College Courageous Woman Award and the Governor’s MLK Day Commitment to Service Award. 

"We are honored to welcome these accomplished leaders to the Foundation's board," said Eric J. Jolly, Ph.D., president and CEO. "They will add tremendous value to our philanthropic initiatives as we work to advance equity and community-led opportunity across Minnesota."

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