The University of Minnesota Alumni Association is overseen by a volunteer board of alumni from around the world.
The University of Minnesota Alumni Association is a 501©3 non-profit organization governed by a board of 27 directors. The Board of Directors represents at-large, council and ex-officio positions. See archived minutes of board meetings here.
Graduation Year/Degree: B.S. '85, Agricultural and Applied Economics
Career: Agriculture, retail, and real estate development, Otter Tail County Commissioner
Interests and Hobbies: Family, travel, Minnesota’s lakes, hunting, spectator sports, reading, agriculture
Favorite U of M Memory: Graduation, Farmhouse, and having all three of my children attend the U of M
Learn more about Doug and his belief in the importance of growing the strength and vitality of the U of M in this video.
Chair-Elect, Collegiate Council Director
Graduation Year/Degree: B.A. ’76, History; M.B.A. ’81, Finance; J.D. ‘86, Northwestern University School of Law
Career: Managing Director & Chief Counsel of Asset Management with Piper Jaffray Companies and its affiliate, Advisory Research. Director of Piper Jaffray Asset Management, Inc. and Parallel General Partner Limited, a Piper Jaffray affiliated company based in the United Kingdom.
Interests and Hobbies: Travel, Gopher sports, and baseball
Favorite U of M Memory: Going to Gopher basketball and football games
Treasurer, At-Large Director
Graduation Year/Degree: B.S.B. '80, Accounting
Career: Senior Director at eCapital Advisors, a business transformation consulting company
Interests and Hobbies: Golf, reading, and spending time with my family
Favorite U of M Memory: Watching all three of my children graduate from the University of Minnesota
Secretary, At-Large Director
Graduation Year/Degree: B.A. '85, Political Science
Career: Owner of Jessen Press, Inc.
Interests and Hobbies: Season ticket holder for U of M Football and Men’s Basketball, golf, cabin up north, lawn bowling
Favorite U of M Memory: Many memories so tough to choose: Middlebrook Dorm, Football games, Campus Carni, great Professors. One that stands out even though it was kind of scary was the day I was studying for a French Mid-term at Wilson Library when I experienced severe chest pains. I stumbled across the Washington Avenue Bridge but ended up lying down on the lawn in front of Coffman. Two kindly professors from the Mechanical Engineering Department came to my aid and insisted they take me to Boynton where they diagnosed I had suffered a collapsed lung. The professors waited in the lobby until they knew I was ok. I was admitted to the University Hospital where I stayed for 4 days until my lung re-inflated and was well cared for. I visited the professors afterwards and thanked them for their help. The experience made me feel like I was part of a family at the U of M. And the French professor let me take the test upon my return…
Sandra Ulsaker Wiese
Graduation Year/Degree: B.A. '81, Political Science; J.D. '84, Mitchell Hamline College of Law
Career: Currently Sr. Vice President of Government Affairs and Business Development, Data Recognition Corp. Previously Vice President of Government Affairs at Thrivent Financial for Lutherans and Assistant Vice President of Law/Government Affairs and Corporate Secretary at The St. Paul Companies, Inc. (now Travelers). Also, served in both federal and state government positions.
Interests and Hobbies: Gopher sports, politics, golf, tennis, and numerous volunteer activities
Favorite U of M Memory: Walking down University Avenue from my sorority house to the stadium on a crisp fall day to attend a Gopher football game; a congressional internship that impacted my career choice; and great U of M professors and classes.
Graduation Year/Degree:B.S. '84, Geography
Career: Vice President, University Relations
Alumni Association President and CEO
Graduation Year/Degree: Graduated from the University of South Florida with degrees in marketing and public relations
Career: 29 years of alumni association experience at the University of South Florida in Tampa, the University of Connecticut in Storrs, and the University of Minnesota. Board of Trustees for Council of Advancement and Support of Education (CASE), Chair of CASE Commission on Alumni Relations, Member of Council of Alumni Association Executives (CAAE)
Interests and Hobbies: Hanging out with family, traveling, spending time with friends, exploring Minnesota's craft breweries, reading
Favorite U of M Memory: There are many great memories and more to come. They all relate to spending time with alumni and hearing stories of how their University of Minnesota experience shaped their lives. I love watching their passion and loyalty in action through volunteer service, advocacy, and support for University excellence. It's our mission brought to life - whether we are in the Twin Cities, New York, Chicago, Japan or Switzerland.
Student and Recent Alumni Council Director
Graduation Year/Degree: B.S. ’03, Economics; B.A. ’03 German
Career: Vice President of Global Products at Optum, a global healthcare corporation
Interests and Hobbies: Travel, home brewing, running, and volunteering
Favorite U of M Memory: Semester study abroad to Freiburg, Germany and watching Goldy slide down the dangerous Metrodome steps on a snow sled
Xin (Sean) Chen
President, Council of Graduate Students
Graduation Year/Degree: M.S. '16, Chemistry; Ph.D. '19, Chemistry
Interests and Hobbies: Reading, travel, exercising, watching sports, and good food
Favorite U of M Memory: The green space in the Mall area, great friends and food here, my past student representative service to the Board of Regents and chemical experiments
Carol Johnson Dean
Graduation Year/Degree: M.A. '80, Elementary Education; Ed.D. '97, Educational Administration
Career: Regional Executive Director of New Leaders, Inc., Former Superintendent at St. Louis Park Public Schools, Minneapolis Public schools, Memphis, TN City Schools and Boston, MA Public Schools
Interests and Hobbies: Art, music, community, reading
Favorite U of M Memory: Watching Gopher football and basketball
Graduation Year/Degree: B.B.A. ’83
Career: CEO, CFO, Partner and Owner of Highland Family Farms. Highland Family Farms is a diversified farming operation, producing pork and growing corn, soybeans, and vegetable peas.
Interests and Hobbies: Avid Gopher fan
Favorite U of M Memory: Tug-of-war contest during Greek Week
Graduation Year/Degree: B.A. '08, Journalism
Career:Partner and Business Advisor, The Resultants. Started my own company in 2007 after being a broadcast media executive for 20 years. Joined a business advisory firm as Partner in 2018.
Interests and Hobbies: Mentoring, family, golf, Gopher sports!
Favorite U of M Memory: Walking Northrop Mall on a beautiful, crisp fall day
President, University of Minnesota (ex-officio)
Graduation Year/Degree: B.S. '78, California Institute of Technology; Ph.D. '82, Chemical Engineering
Career: 16th president of the University of Minnesota
Collegiate Council Director
Graduation Year and Degree: B.S. '71, College of Design
Career: Product designer & manufacturer, Wuxi Jinmao
Interests and Hobbies: Family activities, travel, volunteering, reading, & golf.
Favorite U of M Memory: Autumn on campus, homecoming, and ongoing discussions with professors about my future, business and design.
Graduation Year/Degree: Economics, Ph.D. (2007) Stanford University
Career: Associate Professor, Carlson School of Management
Interests and Hobbies: Nordic skiing, baking, travel
Favorite U of M Memory: Taking my son to his first game at TCF Stadium
Graduation Year and Degree: B.A. '00, Political Science
Career: Executive Vice President of Sales, Marketing and Customer Service, Cambria USA. Executive Director of Public Affairs for the Minnesota Twins. Held various community and government affairs positions with Piper Jaffray Companies, U.S. Bank and Marquette Financial Companies.
Interests and Hobbies: Golf, bird hunting, water skiing, boating, going to the cabin, family
Favorite U of M Memory: Meeting my wife through Mark Allen (U of M Alumni Association) and Goldy Gopher!
President, Minnesota Student Association
Graduation Year and Degree: B.S. '19, Business
Interests and Hobbies: Reading, cooking, and traveling when I can!
Favorite U of M Memory: Getting our tassels at convocation
Geographic Council Director
Graduation Year/Degree: M.B.A. ’92, Business Administration
Career: Working in the financial industry since 1987, and have held various leadership positions in Japanese bank and GE capital. Currently, I am a general manager of business promotion at Lotte Capital, a financial company of Korean-Japanese conglomerate.
Interests and Hobbies: Swim competitively focusing on open water races and play jazz piano
Favorite U of M Memory: Working in the MBA office to help Carlson School’s efforts to recruit foreign students including Japan
Student & Recent Alumni Council Director
Graduation Year/Degree: B.A. ’11, Economics
Career: Strategy Consultant at EY
Interests and Hobbies: Design Strategy, innovation strategy, Orangetheory, University of Minnesota Black Alumni Network (UMNBAN), supporting those in my community, cooking and brunching
Favorite U of M Memory: Participating in the African Student Association (ASA) Mr. and Mrs. Africa Pageant with my now fiance
Peyton N. Owens, III
Golden Gopher Athletics
Graduation Year and Degree: B.A. '00, Kinesiology, College of William and Mary; M.S. '03, Sport Management and Leadership, Virginia Commonwealth University
Career: Associate Athletics Director, Student-Athlete Development/Diversity and Inclusion, Golden Gopher Athletics, University of Minnesota
Interests and Hobbies: Exercise, fellowship with family, reading and Gopher sports
Favorite U of M Memory: Meeting with recruits and their parents, Senior Celebration, and Graduation
Graduation Year/Degree: B.A. '93, Boston College; J.D. '97, University of Minnesota Twin Cities
Career: Executive Coach, WCCO Radio Host, Keynote Speaker, Media Commentator, Author
Interests and Hobbies: Running, happy hour, yoga, travel
Favorite U of M Memory: Many but two standouts: 1) The ceremony and festivities around law school graduation 2) As adjunct faculty for two years in the School of Journalism and Mass Communication, seated on the stage attending the graduation for the class of 2007 and one of my students picking me up and spinning me around as I hugged her.
Geographic Council Director
Graduation Year/Degree: B.A. ’94, International Relations
Career: Vice President of Policy & Government Relations, Global Policy and External Relations, The College Board
Interests and Hobbies: Travel, jogging, and discovering new restaurants
Favorite U of M Memory: Enjoying coffee, a banana-chocolate chip muffin, and the MN Daily crossword puzzle at Coffman Memorial Union while on break between classes
President and Chief Executive Officer, University of Minnesota Foundation
Graduation Year/Degree: M.B.A. ‘97
Career: Executive leadership in the private and public sector
Collegiate Council Director
Graduation Year/Degree: Bachelors of Mechanical Engineering ’88; Minnesota Executive Program '04
Career: Rosemount Inc: 1988-1993, NordicTrack: 1993-1995, Medtronic: 1995-Current
Interests and Hobbies: Playing golf, boating, fishing, skiing (downhill and cross country), traveling, reading, and attending U of M activities
Favorite U of M Memory: Walking across the bridge between East and West Bank (what a beautiful view of the city) and most importantly, walking across the stage in Northrup to get my diploma!
Graduation Year/Degree: B.S.B. '96 Carlson School of Management, emphasis in Corporate Finance and minor in Political Science
Career: 20-year career at Carlson, leading their CWT Meetings and Events division and 500-plus team members in 11 countries in the Americas and South Pacific. 15-year, 4 term Minnetonka City Council Member (2003 - present)
Interests and Hobbies: Gopher sports, #Lakelife in Spicer, public service as a 4-term Minnetonka City Council member, travel, and creating memories with my wife (April) and two young children (Kate and Will)
Favorite U of M Memory: Too many to mention, but my top memories include serving as Student Body President ('93-'94), season tickets with 20 of my friends in the front row for Gopher Basketball watching GREAT teams, a last-minute road trip to the '93 NIT finals in NYC, and the life-long friendships, experiences gained and memories made through my fraternity (Sigma Phil Epsilon).
Collegiate Council Director
Graduation Year/Degree: B.S. '10, Animal Science; M.P.H. '16, Environmental Health
Career: Quality Manager, Sparboe Companeis
Interests and Hobbies: Traveling, listening to audiobooks and podcasts, volunteering at church, and sharing my story as a “city girl gone ag” in hope of inspiring youth to pursue a career in agriculture
Favorite U of M Memory: My favorite memory from the U of MN would have to be my study abroad trip to Norway. I was able to earn my history credits through hands-on study of the natural history of Norway and its similarities to Minnesota. It was an amazing experience learning about the native Sami culture, Norwegian wildlife, Norwegian agriculture, and their geological origins. The highlight of the trip was going to Runde Island and hiking to the top to see puffins in flight as they came in to nest for the evening. I’ll never forget how such a tiny bird could sound like a jet as it zipped by.