Dane Smith to Growth and Justice

Here’s the release:

Growth & Justice Names New President:

Long-time Journalist Dane Smith

ST. PAUL, MN – Growth & Justice, a public policy think tank focused on issues related to sustaining a fair, and prosperous Minnesota economy, has named Dane Smith as president. Smith, who recently concluded a 30-year career as a reporter for the Star Tribune and the Pioneer Press, succeeds founder and current executive director Joel Kramer. Kramer will become chair of the organization’s board of directors for a two-year term.

“I’m excited, humbled and exhilarated by this opportunity,” said Smith, whose reporting on public policy was recognized across the political spectrum as insightful and fair. “It’s a bit like walking onto the field as a player after a 30-year career in the press box.

“Tax fairness and the issues surrounding government’s proper role in society were among my favorite issues as a reporter. I understand the importance of smart public-sector investment that can help all Minnesotans improve their lives and strengthen the state’s economy, and I’m honored to take on the leadership of an organization committed to that great purpose.”

Kramer said that the board began discussing leadership succession about a year ago during the nonprofit’s strategic planning process. “We agreed that Growth and Justice was no longer a start-up and had tremendous potential to grow in size and influence. We concluded that new leadership could provide fresh energy and perspective to drive that growth.”

After a search conducted by Rebecca Yanisch at KeyStone Search, the search committee recommended Smith, and the board approved him today, effective the end of April.

“Dane brings a deep understanding of state policy, politics and media to this job, along with an outstanding network of people who respect his work,” Kramer said.

Smith said that he is particularly excited about two new Growth and Justice projects that he said “lie at the heart of its mission.” “Rethinking Public Education” aims to create an evidence-based consensus on how to invest in getting many more Minnesotans to attain postsecondary degrees. “Governing with Accountability’” will recommend how to improve government performance and accountability for the results of public investments, especially in the critical areas of education, transportation and health care.

“I’m eager to get started growing this organization and amplifying its call for a more fair tax system and focused improvement in the public goods and services that will sustain and enhance our quality of life,” Smith said.

Growth & Justice is a nonpartisan progressive economic think tank focused on developing and communicating public policy strategies and agendas to make Minnesota’s economy simultaneously more prosperous, fair, and environmentally sustainable. The 501c3 nonprofit organization was founded in Dec. 2002 by Joel Kramer and is governed by a distinguished board of 24 community leaders representing diverse backgrounds and areas of the state. You can learn more about Growth & Justice’s work at www.growthandjustice.org.

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