AG-elect Ellison announces transition team

Minnesota Attorney General-elect Keith Ellison announced a 36-member transition advisory board on Monday that includes state legislators, prominent attorneys, union members — and even a past political opponent.

The transition team will help Ellison prepare to take over the role of the state’s top attorney, including recruitment, community engagement and the office’s budget. The board will be chaired by Richard Allyn, a former deputy attorney general, and Sarah Catherine Walker, a lobbyist and founder of criminal justice nonprofit the Minnesota Second Chance Coalition.  Members will include state Sen. Bobby Joe Champion, state Rep. Jamie Becker-Finn, Eric Magnuson, former chief justice of the Minnesota Supreme Court, and Matt Pelikan, the DFL-endorsed candidate for attorney general who Ellison beat in the August primary.

“We are hitting the ground running,” Ellison said in a statement announcing the transition team. “I could not be more thankful that this terrific set of people from all walks of life and regions of Minnesota have agreed to advise, support, and challenge me as I prepare to become the People’s Lawyer.”

Ellison is taking over the office from current DFL Attorney General Lori Swanson, who has held the role since 2007. He said she has also given him counsel on transitioning the office.

Here’s the full list of board members:

Richard Allyn, former Minnesota Chief Deputy Attorney General and Solicitor General; partner, Robins Kaplan; Transition Advisory Committee co-chair, Recruitment subcommittee chair

Sarah Catherine Walker, government-affairs consultant; founder, Minnesota Second Chance Coalition; Transition Advisory Committee co-chair, Community Engagement subcommittee chair, Recruitment committee member

Jamie Becker-Finn, Minnesota State Representative, District 42B

Bobby Joe Champion, Minnesota State Senator, District 59

John Choi, Ramsey County Attorney; former Saint Paul City Attorney

Phil Duran, legal director for healthcare access, JustUs Health; past president, Minnesota State Bar Association

Brian Elliott, executive director, SEIU Minnesota State Council

Emma Greenman, director of voting rights and democracy, Center for Popular Democracy and Center for Popular Democracy Action

Alberder Gillespie, management consultant; board member, Common Cause Minnesota; chair, Black Civic Network

Foung Hawj, Minnesota State Senator, District 67

Beverly Jones Heydinger, former Minnesota Deputy Attorney General; former chair, Minnesota Public Utilities Commission

Molly Hicken, Cook County Attorney, Grand Marais

Hudda Ibrahim, author, speaker, consultant; faculty, St. Cloud Technical and Community College

Burt Johnson, attorney, North Central States Regional Council of Carpenters

Carla Kjellberg, private-practice attorney

Andrea Ledger, executive director, NARAL Pro-Choice Minnesota

Eric Magnuson, former Chief Justice, Minnesota Supreme Court; partner, Robins Kaplan

David McKinney, staff attorney, ACLU of Minnesota

Carly Melin, executive director, Minnesota State Building and Construction Trades Council; former State Representative, District 6A

Veronica Mendez Moore, co-director, Centro de Trabajadores Unidos en la Lucha

Carin Mrotz, executive director, Jewish Community Action

Lyndsey Olson, Saint Paul City Attorney

Gail M. Olson, former Minnesota Deputy Attorney General; former general counsel, Minnesota State Colleges and University System

Lori Bergland Olson, farmer, Thief River Falls

Pete Orput, Washington County Attorney

Matt Pelikan, of counsel, Madel PA; 2018 candidate for Minnesota Attorney General

Ivan Porga, manager, Be the Change: Leadership on Purpose, Worthington

Rose Roach, executive director, Minnesota Nurses Association

Lee Sheehy, former Minnesota Chief Deputy Attorney General

Denise Specht, president, Education Minnesota

Luchelle Stevens, Gulf War veteran and community organizer, Golden Valley

Lola Velazquez-Aguilu, former Assistant U.S. Attorney; legal counsel, Medtronic

Jonathan Weinhagen, president and CEO, Minneapolis Regional Chamber of Commerce

Ted Winter, president, Rock & Nobles County Farmers Union; board member, Minnesota Farmers Union; former Minnesota State Representative, Districts 22A and 28A, former Minnesota House Majority Leader

Emilia Gonzalez Avalos, executive director, NAVIGATE/Unidos MN

Julio Zelaya, coordinator, Greater Minnesota Racial Justice Project, ACLU of Minnesota

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