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July 25, 2013
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Elaine Cunningham, 651-855-1176 (office) or 651-335-3236 (cell)
Peggy Flanagan, an experienced community organizer, advocate, teacher and trainer, has joined the Children’s Defense Fund-Minnesota (CDF-MN) as its executive director.
CDF-MN is a nonpartisan, nonprofit child advocacy organization that seeks to ensure a level playing field for all children by championing policies and programs that lift children out of poverty; protect them from abuse and neglect; and ensure their access to health care, quality education and a solid foundation for success.
“I am thrilled to join such a well-respected organization like Children's Defense Fund-Minnesota,” said Flanagan. “I am passionate about ensuring that all of our children have what they need to be happy, healthy and successful young people. I can’t wait to get to work on behalf of all kids in Minnesota.”
Flanagan joins CDF-MN after eight years with Wellstone Action, first as director and founder of the Native American Leadership Program and most recently as director of External Affairs. She also serves as adjunct faculty for George Washington University’s Native American Political Leadership Program.
An enrolled member of the White Earth Band of Ojibwe, Flanagan has been active in community and political organizing for more than a decade. She is a nationally recognized expert in nonpartisan voter mobilization and civic engagement, especially with Native Americans and people of color. She was named as one of the top 100 most influential people in Minnesota politics by Campaigns & Elections magazine in 2010. Other experiences include positions at the Greater Minneapolis Council of Churches and the Division of Indian Work.
An active community member, Flanagan served on the Minneapolis Board of Education from 2005 to 2009, becoming the first Native American and youngest individual to serve on that board. In addition, she has held board positions on the Native American Community Development Institute, Native Vote Alliance of Minnesota, Harbor Theatre Group, Minneapolis Youth Coordinating Board, Young Elected Officials Network and Sojourners. She is a 2002 graduate of the University of Minnesota and holds a bachelor’s degree in American Indian studies and child psychology.
Flanagan lives in St. Louis Park with her husband and six-month-old daughter.