Saint Paul & Minnesota Foundation Names Ellen Brownell Associate Vice President, Director of Investments

Tuesday, January 5, 2021
The Saint Paul & Minnesota Foundation (the Foundation) today announced that Ellen Brownell has been named associate vice president, director of investments.  She will be responsible for assisting the chief investment officer in all aspects of portfolio management.

Prior to joining the organization’s investment team in an interim role in October, Brownell was senior investment advisor at Minneapolis-based Pohlad Investment Management.

“Ellen is a seasoned investment professional who will help us advance the Foundation’s mission and programs by managing and growing our diversified investment portfolio and endowment plan,” said Shannon O’Leary, chief investment officer. “The depth of experience in leading and managing investment strategies, gained over her 20-year career, will be a true asset to the Foundation.”

Earlier, Brownell served as managing director of asset allocation, risk management and innovative solutions at San Francisco Employees’ Retirement System. She also held senior positions on the endowment investment teams at the University of Delaware and Dartmouth College. 

“I’m honored to join the Saint Paul & Minnesota Foundation, where a locally-based mission and focus on equity are core values,” said Brownell. “The Foundation knows our community and provides a vital connection between donors and organizations with shared priorities. I believe that the healthiest communities are places where everyone can thrive; I am excited by the opportunity to make a positive impact.” 

Brownell is a member of the Minnesota State Board Investment Advisory Council, the Girls Who Invest Advisory Board and its Diversity, Equity and Inclusion subcommittee. She is a member of the Chartered Financial Analyst Institute (CFA), the CFA Society of Minnesota, and the Private Equity Women Investment Network. Brownell is a former member of the Vermont Community Foundation’s Investment Committee. She holds a bachelor of arts degree in English from Yale University.


About the Saint Paul & Minnesota Foundation
The Saint Paul & Minnesota Foundation believes in the best of Minnesota and the power of its communities. With roots in Saint Paul and partners across the state, it is Minnesota’s largest community foundation and the partner of choice for thousands of donors, nonprofits and community organizations. The Foundation aspires to create an equitable, just and vibrant Minnesota where all communities and people thrive by inspiring generosity, advocating for equity, and investing in community-led solutions. Visit:

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