MINNEAPOLIS / ST. PAUL, November 28, 2018 – Wendy Underwood has been named the new senior director of advocacy and government affairs for Catholic Charities of St. Paul and Minneapolis. Underwood will direct the organization’s advocacy and government affairs work, engaging a network of thousands of advocates, volunteers, and community leaders.
Underwood comes to Catholic Charities from the Minnesota Department of Human Services, where she served as Assistant Commissioner for External Affairs and led the Department’s Communications and Legislative Affairs Division, Office of Indian Policy, Federal Relations, County Relations, and Community and Partner Relations. Prior to this, she served as Government Relations Director for the City of Saint Paul and as Coordinator of Federal Relations at the State of Minnesota. She was also a leader at Target Corporation.
“Wendy comes to us with a deep passion for our mission and a belief in the powerful role Catholic Charities plays as an advocate and leader in the community,” said Tim Marx, president and CEO of Catholic Charities. “Her expertise in policy, advocacy, and community engagement—in both the public and private sectors—will enhance our capacity to partner with key community stakeholders, advocate for system changes, and serve as a strong voice for those in need.”
Minnesota Human Services Commissioner Emily Piper said Underwood will be an asset in helping Catholic Charities advance its mission.
“Wendy championed our efforts to bring together diverse interests around common goals,” Piper said. “She lives a life exemplifying our vision – that when we help each other, we create a brighter future for Minnesota. I know she will bring those same qualities to Catholic Charities.”
Underwood has an MBA from Hamline University and a bachelor’s degree in government and international studies form Augustana College in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. She was also a Policy Fellow at the University of Minnesota’s Humphrey School of Public Affairs. She and her husband live in Saint Paul, where she volunteers on several community boards.
To learn more about Catholic Charities’ social justice advocacy work, visit www.cctwincities.org/advocate .
I drive the development of Catholic Charities’ key stakeholder outreach strategy, manage oversight of public messaging, media relations, external web and social media development and content, and agency-wide materials.