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Michael O’Keefe

President Emeritus, Minneapolis College of Art and Design

Michael O’Keefe served as president of Minneapolis College of Art and Design (MCAD), one of the nation’s highly regarded private art and design colleges, from 2002 to June 2009. Beginning with a position in the then U.S. Department of Health, Education, and Welfare, he has had a career-long engagement in education policy through work in nonprofits, government, foundations, and the education program of the Aspen Institute.

Mr. O’Keefe’s experience includes 10 years as executive vice president and chief executive officer for the McKnight Foundation, a Minneapolis-based foundation that provides grants in human services, housing, the arts, and the environment. He is former president of the Consortium for the Advancement of Private Higher Education in Washington, D.C., and has held a number of posts in higher education.

Mr. O’Keefe also served as commissioner of the Minnesota Department of Human Services, the state’s largest department with an annual budget of $6 billion supporting a broad range of services including health care, economic assistance, child welfare services, and services for the elderly and people with disabilities.

He has served on numerous boards of directors including that of Minnesota Public Radio, the Minneapolis-based policy group Growth and Justice, and the UMore Development Corporation and was appointed to two terms on the Board of Regents of the University of Minnesota.

Mr. O’Keefe earned a Bachelor of Science from Marquette University (Milwaukee, Wisconsin) in physics, mathematics, and philosophy and a Master of Science from the University of Pittsburgh in nuclear physics and mathematics. He has an honorary Doctor of Letters from Hamline University.

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