Ms. Joan Cleary

In a health and human services career spanning 30 years, Joan Cleary has worked in community, nonprofit, clinical, think tank, government, and philanthropy settings. Ms. Cleary serves as the Executive Director of the Minnesota Community Health Worker Alliance, an organization dedicated to building community and systems capacity for better health through the integration of community health worker (CHW) strategies.

Prior to joining the alliance, Ms. Cleary led grantmaking, policy support, and leadership development initiatives for the Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota Foundation, including its community health worker field-building efforts and upstream focus on social determinants of health.

Previously, Ms. Cleary served on the staff of the W. K. Kellogg Foundation and as a consultant for the Bush Foundation and Northwest Area Foundation. She has a lengthy career in health and human services, including government, community agencies, provider organizations and advocacy groups, as well as philanthropy. Ms. Cleary is a graduate of Oberlin College and earned a Master’s Degree from the Kellogg Graduate School of Management at Northwestern University. Ms. Cleary is also a 2004-2005 alum of the Humphrey Institute Policy Fellows Program, which offers practical training in public affairs leadership for emerging leaders seeking new experiences and skills. The program equips participants with three core leadership competencies to inspire, organize, and work effectively with others to advance the public good.

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