Barbara Raye

Barbara Raye

Executive Director and Founder
Consultant, Trainer, Mediator, Researcher, Policy Analyst

Barbara has dedicated her career to improving the effectiveness of community-based nonprofit organizations and government agencies in their work for social justice and the ethical use of power. She has worked to this end also in universities and operating foundations. In all these sectors she brings an expertise in systems and culture change, collaboration, and program development and evaluation.

In Nonprofit as Executive Director and Board Member

Barbara began her career in Indiana as co-founder and director of two shelters for battered women and their children. She was also instrumental in the founding of the Indiana Coalition Against Domestic Violence. During this time Barbara served as President of the Unitarian-Universalist Society of Columbus, Indiana, and she served two terms on the board of directors of Quinco, a five-county mental health organization then managed by John Carver.

Experience in Government

In 1983 Barbara relocated to Minnesota to serve as a Governor appointee to the Minnesota State Humane Society. Under her leadership as Executive Director, the number of animal welfare programs throughout the state grew from twenty to over forty, and she worked for legislation to promote the safety and ethical treatment of animals. From the Society Barbara moved to the Minnesota State Department of Corrections where she continued her work in state government as Director of Victim Services. During her tenure with the DOC, Barbara led the integration of four separate victims units into a single department as a measure to improve effectivenes and efficiency.

At the local level Barbara expanded her track record with government to include Ramsey County (the home of the state capitol) where she served as the Director of Policy, Planning, and Organization Development. In this role Barbara led and implemented the state's first citizen-based county-wide strategic plan which focused on cross-sector collaboration and introduced the discipline of outcomes and performance measures in departments throughout the county. In this and all her other government positions, (state and local), Barbara brought citizens and elected officials together for joint work on policy, legislation, and "outcomes accountability."

Work with Foundations

Barbara's record with foundations includes her tenure as Director of the Amherst H. Wilder Foundation's Training and Consulting Group which worked with scores of nonprofit and public sector organizations throughout the Twin Cities metropolitan area. Barbara led one Wilder initiative as part of a strategic decision to re-focus on the urban core issues and to streamline several departments to be more effective, efficient, and synergistic. Barbara was also an early member of the Development Committee of the Women's Foundation of Minnesota.

Work in the Education Sector

In the education sector, Barbara has served at Hamline University as an adjunct instructor in the Masters Degree Program in Public Administration and Nonprofit Management. She has led courses in Outcomes and Performance Measurement, Governance and Planning for Nonprofit Organizations, and Research and Program Evaluation for Managers. She also provides training and consulting through the College of St. Catherine in Leadership Development, Mediation, and Being an Effective Change Agent.

Private Consulting Practice

Throughout her career Barbara has cultivated and maintained a private consulting practice in the area of nonprofit board governance and management. It was this practice that eventually led to the formation of the Center.

Education and Training

Barbara has a Masters in Business Administration from the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, Minnesota. She also has specialized training in Minnesota Quality Award Criteria, the Peter F. Drucker Foundation National Training Team Self-Assessment Tool, the Carver Policy Governance Model for Boards of Directors and Governing Bodies, the Myers-Briggs Qualification, Asset-Based Community Development (McKnight/Kreitzman Northwestern University), the National Futurists "Shared Participation" group process leadership training, Fellowship of Reconciliation "Children's Creative Response to Conflict," and mediation by CDR in Boulder, Colorado. (Links to many of these organizations are available in the links page of our library.)

Barbara Today

Barbara's passions include restorative justice, large group/citizen engagement processes, and the elimination of systemic discrimination based on race, gender, physical disability, age, class, and affectional orientation. These passions lead to and inform Barbara's current work as Executive Director of the Center for Policy, Planning, and Performance. Barbara travels frequently in North America, Africa, and Europe and makes her home in Minneapolis, Minnesota.