Walz team announces transition advisory board

A group of 30 mayors, CEOs, religious leaders and other community members — both Democrat and Republican — will advise Tim Walz as he transitions into the governor’s office.

The transition advisory board members, announced Friday, will be led by Lt. Gov.-elect Peggy Flanagan, who is finishing her second term in the state House before heading to the executive branch.

Walz will lean on the group to help him fill commissioner openings in more than two dozen state agencies, as well as help shape his priorities for his two-year budget proposal, due on Feb. 19.

Among the members: Abdirahman Kahin, owner of Afro Deli, Dave Durenberger, a former Republican United States senator, Denise Specht, the president of Education Minnesota, and Marcia Zimmerman, the senior Rabbi at Temple Israel.

“Our team worked intentionally to bring together a diverse group of people to share their expertise as we lay the groundwork for our administration,” Flanagan said in a statement announcing the new “One Minnesota Advisory Board.” Together, we will cast a wide net across the state to ensure we truly run state government as One Minnesota.”

Walz has a short time to line up his new administration: his inauguration is set for Jan. 7.

Here’s the full list of advisory board members:

Abdirahman Kahin, owner of Afro Deli
Armando Camacho, President and CEO of Opportunity Partners
Ben Schierer, Mayor of Fergus Falls
Bharti Wahi, Executive Director of the Children’s Defense Fund-MN
Bo-Thao Urabe, Executive and Network Director at the Council on Asian American Leaders
Carl Crawford, Human Rights Officer at the City of Duluth
Carly Melin, Executive Director of the Minnesota State Building and Construction Trades Council and former State Representative
Chief Executive Melanie Benjamin, Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe
Dave Durenberger, former U.S. Senator
David Nicholson, Executive Director at the Headwaters Foundation for Justice
Denise Specht, President of Education Minnesota
Eric Sannerud, CEO of Mighty Axe Hops
Harold Wolle, past President and current Board member of the Minnesota Corn Growers Association
Javier Morrillo, President of SEIU Local 26
Jaylani Hussein, Executive Director of CAIR-MN
Jeff Ettinger, Chairman of the Hormel Foundation
Kathleen Annette, M.D., President and CEO of the Blandin Foundation
Marcia Zimmerman, Senior Rabbi at Temple Israel
Marvin Roger Anderson, CEO of Rondo Commemorative Plaza and Chair of Reconnect Rondo
Michelle Behr, Chancellor of the University of Minnesota Morris
Paul Austin, Executive Director of Conservation Minnesota
President Shelley Buck, Prairie Island Indian Community
Rassoul Dastmozd, President/CEO of Saint Paul College
Senta Leff, Executive Director of the Minnesota Coalition for the Homeless
Stella Whitney-West, CEO of North Point Health & Wellness Center
Tawanna Black, CEO of the Center for Economic Inclusion
Tim Mackey, President of the Laborers District Council
Tom McLaughlin, former Legislative Chairman for the Minnesota Veterans of Foreign Wars, a retired Blue Earth County Commissioner, and Marine Combat veteran
Tony Sertich, President of the Northland Foundation

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