Long-Time CDF-MN Director, Jim Koppel Joins Minnesota Department of Health

April 25, 2011

April 25, 2011

Jim Koppel is leaving Children’s Defense Fund–Minnesota (CDF-MN) to become Deputy Commissioner at the Minnesota Department of Health. In his 15 years, Jim made tremendous contributions to Minnesota’s children and their families, for whom he advocated so strongly. 

Jim became state director of the CDF–MN office in 1996. His vision and leadership brought significant public policy improvements in children’s health coverage, child welfare, low-income family tax policy, and in welfare reform. Jim was responsible for expanding CDF’s offices to North Dakota and Montana.

Under Jim’s leadership, CDF Minnesota helped thousands of families get the health care, child care, nutrition and tax benefits that they are entitled to through CDF’s tax and benefit outreach and enrollment efforts. After years of development, the Bridge to Benefits project and web-based screening tool was launched in 2007. The project expanded to Montana in 2008 and to North and South Dakota in 2009.  In 2010, more than 30,000 families received help through the Bridge to Benefits project.

Jim oversaw research and reports that changed how policymakers and citizens viewed the opportunities for improving child well-being. Koppel believed that all of us could and would make children a priority and the work that he initiated at CDF made that belief a reality.

Jim Koppel’s last day at CDF Minnesota was April 22, 2011.  Sybil Axner will serve as Interim Director while a search is conducted for a new director.