Trista Harris Is New Executive Director
Trista Harris will take over as Executive Director starting on September 2, 2008.
“Being asked to serve as the Foundation’s Executive Director is both an honor and a privilege,” said Harris. “The Headwaters Foundation for Justice has a well-deserved reputation as a leader in the field of social justice philanthropy. I am thrilled to join this team and continue this work because I'm convinced that through strong partnerships with donors and nonprofits, ambitious goals, innovation, and a commitment to impact, we can create a more just community."
Harris comes to Headwaters from the Saint Paul Foundation where she was Program Officer. Harris has provided leadership on the Foundation’s initiatives related to civic engagement and philanthropy. She is also responsible for a broad ranging grantmaking portfolio which reflects the Foundation’s interest in comprehensive solutions to community issues and manages scholarship funds for the Foundation.
Harris has 15 years of nonprofit experience. Prior to the Saint Paul Foundation, Harris was the Advancement Director for Portico Healthnet, an innovative nonprofit that provides health coverage and health education to uninsured Minnesotans.
Harris received her M.P.P. degree in public policy from the University of Minnesota’s Humphrey Institute, with a focus on philanthropy and nonprofit effectiveness, and her Bachelor’s degree in sociology from the honor’s program at Howard University. She has recently been recognized as a Connecting Leaders Fellow through the Association of Black Foundation Executives. Through this fellowship intensive mentoring and educational opportunities are provided to influential new leaders who are committed to building Black communities through organized philanthropy. Harris is currently the Chair of Minnesota’s Emerging Practitioners in Philanthropy Chapter, whose mission is to strengthen the next generation of grantmakers, to advance effective social justice philanthropy.
“We are very excited that Trista will be joining Headwaters. Her vision and creative approach to social justice philanthropy will take Headwaters to the next level of community leadership,” said Penelope Haru Snipper, co-chair of the Headwaters Board of Directors. “Trista is joining Headwaters at a time when we have completed a number of important transitions. Under her leadership and building upon Headwaters’ first 25 years of social justice work, we feel we have what it will take to distinguish our role within the changing philanthropic landscape.”