Global City // Changing World

The Global City // Changing World event was an unprecedented gathering of civic, business, nonprofit and philanthropic leaders all coming together to discover and explore ways we can make the most of our global giving. Multiple foundations were highlighted including the Medtronic Foundation, GHR Foundation, Margaret A. Cargill Philanthropies, Council on Foundations and 3Mgives. Below, you’ll find bios of some of our event speakers, videos from the event and information from our sponsors.


R.T. Rybak connected with Hamse Warfa, co-founder and Executive Vice President of BanQu, to talk about Hamse’s recent, comprehensive look at global giving in our community.



  • David MacLennan

    David MacLennan and R T Rybak

    David MacLennan, the Chairman & CEO at Cargill, sat down with R. T. Rybak, the President & CEO of The Minneapolis Foundation, to talk about the importance of global giving.


  • Donors

    Donor panel

    Minneapolis Foundation donors Mark Hiemenz, Christopher Jones, and Sheila Leatherman chatted about their passions and why they give to causes around the globe.


  • Nonprofit Leaders

    Nonprofit Panel

    Nonprofit leaders Elia Dimayuga-Bruggeman, Tharangi Cumaranatunge, Loan Huynh, and Huy Pham talked about their organizations’ purpose and why giving internationally is important.


  • Gerardo Guerrero Gomez

    Head Consul

    R.T. Rybak sat down with Gerardo Guerrero Gomez, the Head Consul at the Consulate of Mexico in St, Paul, to talk about immigration and our global workforce.




Thank you to our sponsors for their generous support and making this event possible.


  • Student Voices

    Student Videos As part of the event, we interviewed Minneapolis students who had immigrated to the United States. We talked to them about their backgrounds, experiences in Minnesota, and their future goals. Take a look.


  • Omar Ishrak

    Before the event, R.T. Rybak sat down and had a conversation about globalism with Medtronic CEO Omar Ishrak. Born in Bangladesh, educated in England, living in Minneapolis and doing business and philanthropy around the world, Omar provides unique and valuable insights on global issues and so much more.


  • Participating Organizations

    One Village Partners

    American Refugee Committee

    Engineering World Health

    International Students and Scholar Services (ISSS)

    Global Minnesota

    Learning Abroad Center

    Engineers Without Borders – University of Minnesota Chapter

    Design for Life: Water in Tanzania

    University of Minnesota Global Programs and Strategy Alliance

    University of Minnesota Walter H. Judd International Graduate & Professional Fellowships

    University of Minnesota School of Public Health

    University of Minnesota International Center for Global Change

    Center for Victims of Torture

    Advocates for Human Rights

    Global Rights for Women

  • Event Segments

    Welcome: Meredith McQuaid, University of Minnesota

    Why We’re Here: Ellen Goldberg Luger, The Minneapolis Foundation

    When Giving Means Getting: R.T. Rybak, The Minneapolis Foundation; Hamse Warfa, BanQu

    Local Insights on Global Change: Paurvi Bhatt, Medtronic Foundation; Amy Goldman, GHR Foundation; Terry Meersman, Margaret A. Cargill Philanthropies; Natalie Ross, Council on Foundations; Michael Stroik, 3Mgives

    Keynote Conversation: David MacLennan, Cargill; R.T. Rybak, The Minneapolis Foundation

    Donors Making a Difference Across the Globe: Mark Hiemenz, Focus: Global LGBTQ Well-being; Christopher Jones, Focus: Global Education; Sheila Leatherman, Focus: Global Health; Moderated by Ellen Goldberg Luger, The Minneapolis Foundation

    Stories from the Frontlines of Impact: Elia Dimayuga-Bruggeman, Global Minnesota; Tharangi Cumaranatunge, American Refugee Committee; Loan Huynh, The Advocates for Human Rights; Huy Pham, Center for Victims of Torture; Moderated by Cheryl Thomas, Global Rights for Women

    Beyond the Bottom Line: Greg Page, Retired Chairman and CEO at Cargill; Ken Powell, Former CEO at General Mills; Julie Wavinak, Senior Quality Engineer at General Mills; Serge-Alain Wandji, Senior Global Intellectual Asset Manager at Cargill; Moderated by Ellen Goldberg Luger, The Minneapolis Foundation

    A Conversation with Gerardo Guerrero Gomez: Gerardo Guerrero Gomez, Head Consul, Consulate of Mexico in St. Paul; R.T. Rybak, The Minneapolis Foundation

    Final Comments and Closing: R.T. Rybak, The Minneapolis Foundation

  • Speaker Bios


    Ellen Goldberg Luger oversees The Minneapolis Foundation’s Philanthropic Services team, partnering with the Foundation’s donors to help them achieve their charitable goals and increase their positive impact in the community. Before joining the Foundation, she served from 2006 to 2015 as Vice President, Global Philanthropy and Volunteerism at General Mills and as Executive Director of the General Mills Foundation. Prior to that, she served as Associate Director of the General Mills Foundation for eight years. She has a law degree from Georgetown University and received her Bachelor of Arts degree from Wellesley College, Phi Beta Kappa and magna cum laude, on whose Board of Trustees she currently serves.

    Gerardo Guerrero Gomez is the 4th Consul of Mexico in St. Paul. He has worked at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs since 1987 and joined the Diplomatic Corps in 1997. Consul Guerrero has served as an attorney in different legal offices within the Ministry, as well as at the Consulate in New York. Most recently, he served as Deputy Legal Advisor in charge of the negotiation and final approval of all international treaties and agreements signed by Mexico. He served also as Deputy General Director for Legal Affairs. He has participated in many international negotiations in the Atomic Energy International Organization, in the World Intellectual Property Organization and in the International Civil Aviation Organization.

    David MacLennan has been Chief Executive Officer of Cargill since 2013 and was first elected to the Cargill Board of Directors in 2008. He began his Cargill career in 1991 in the Financial Markets Division, helping establish Cargill’s proprietary financial business in distressed asset investing and trading, serving in that capacity in the Minneapolis and London offices. After serving as Chief Financial Officer of the Financial Markets Division, he moved to Geneva to head Cargill Energy, which engaged in the trading, hedging, and merchandising of energy products for Cargill and its customers. Outside of Cargill, MacLennan serves on the boards of Ecolab, the Minnesota Business Partnership, (as Chairman), the National Association of Manufacturers and the Board of Trustees of Amherst College. His nonprofit board service has included Youth Frontiers, College Possible, and his passion is a focus on the needs of under-privileged youth and their access to education.

    Greg Page is retired Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Cargill, Incorporated. He served as Executive Director of Cargill from September 2015 to August 2016, as Executive Chairman from December 2013 to September 2015, and as Chief Executive Officer from June 2007 to December 2013. Page serves as a member of the board of directors of Eaton Corporation, Deere & Company, and 3M. He is a member of the Advisory Committee of the Agriculture Division of DowDuPont, Corteva. He is past-chair of the board of Big Brothers Big Sisters of America and past president of the Northern Star Council of the Boy Scouts of America and he continues to serve on both boards as well as the board of the American Refugee Committee.

    Ken Powell is the former Chairman and CEO of General Mills. Ken joined General Mills in 1979 and progressed through a variety of marketing and senior leadership positions in the company, becoming CEO in 2007. He spent more than a third of his career overseas and helped launch Cereal Partners Worldwide (CPW) – the company’s joint venture with Nestlé based in Lausanne, Switzerland. He retired from General Mills in December 2017. Ken earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in biology from Harvard in 1976 and his MBA from Stanford University in 1979.

    R.T. Rybak serves as President and CEO of The Minneapolis Foundation, one of the oldest and largest community foundations in the country. Before leading The Minneapolis Foundation, Rybak served as executive director of Generation Next, a coalition of civic, business, and school leaders focused on closing the educational opportunity gap in Minneapolis and Saint Paul. Prior to that, he served as mayor of Minneapolis from 2002 to 2013. During Rybak’s tenure as mayor, he led efforts in economic development, affordable housing, transportation, and youth violence prevention. When he left office, Minneapolis had restored its AAA bond rating, had one of the lowest unemployment rates in the country, and had put 20,000 young people through the STEP-UP summer jobs program, a program he founded. A Minneapolis native, Rybak spent almost 30 years working in journalism, commercial real estate, publishing, and the Internet.

    Hamse Warfa is the co-founder and Executive Vice President of BanQu Inc, an award-winning blockchain software company working to connect the poor to the global economy. Hamse works at the intersection of community building, philanthropy and social entrepreneurship for over the past 20years. He is deeply passionate about changing the social and economic systems that marginalize and exclude people from opportunities to live their lives with dignity. Hamse is both Bush Foundation and global Ashoka fellow.


    Mark Hiemenz cofounded the consulting firm of Wiser Wolf, where he focuses on helping individuals and organizations build their culture and capacity. Previously he served as a Partner Relations Officer for The Saint Paul & Minnesota Foundations, Director of Community Relations at Ameriprise Financial, and Executive Director of HandsOn Twin Cities. Along with his husband, Charlie Rounds, Mark is committed to international philanthropy in support of global LGBTQ well-being, taking an intergenerational approach to their work through mentoring students and creating Mossier, a Minnesota-based nonprofit that connects LGBTQ entrepreneurs in Kenya, Uganda, and the Dominican Republic with young people in Minnesota looking to gain professional experience working in international internships.

    Christopher Jones enjoyed more than 30 years in the electronics, financial information, and banking industries before earning a Masters of Education and becoming a middle school science teacher. In this time, he worked to create a balanced approach to business, to investing, and to teaching – all the while remembering the generous opportunities he has had over the decades. One foundational principle he holds to strongly is giving back to the community, without defining which community that may be. As a Director of Educate Tanzania, Inc, Mr. Jones has helped guide the organization’s goals of providing a reliable source of clean water, education for sustainable agriculture and nutrition, and helping keep women from the water trail by providing them with an education and the opportunity for a seat at the decision-making table.

    Sheila Leatherman is a Professor of Global Health Policy at the Gillings School of Public Health of University of North Carolina. She conducts research and policy analysis internationally focusing on quality of care and health systems reform. She was elected to the U.S. National Academy of Sciences in 2002 as a member of the Institute of Medicine and in 2007, she was awarded the honor of Commander of the British Empire (CBE) by Queen Elizabeth for her work in the National Health Service for over a decade. Currently, as the lead advisor to the World Health Organization for a five-year initiative, she works with multiple low and middle-income countries – such as Sudan, Afghanistan, Mexico, Nigeria, Ethiopia – advising and assisting in the development of national health care quality agendas. Her current research focuses on improving care in fragile states, humanitarian crises and conflict zones. She also works with various international NGOs such as serving as an advisor to Doctors Without Borders and on the board of Grameen Foundation.


    Elia Dimayuga-Bruggeman is a Special Assistant to the Commissioner at the Minnesota Department of Education where she works on special projects in the area of ESSA (Every Student Succeeds Act) plan, especially in the area of Teacher Quality and Equity in Access as well as growing teacher diversity in the state of Minnesota.  Elia has worked in education for over 35 years in the K-12 system for public and private schools and higher education. Elia is a current board member for Global Minnesota. She has also served on the board of MN Latino Affairs Council, MN Alliance With Youth, Cantaré, and she has represented MN at CCIME, where she chaired the Education Committee on Migrant Education between the US and Mexico.

    Tharangi Cumaranatunge has held the role of Controller at American Refugee Committee since 2012. She has been a leader in strategic systems and financial roles both in corporate and nonprofit companies. Tharangi grew up in Sri Lanka and came to Minnesota on a Fulbright scholarship for her MBA from Carlson School of Management. She held roles as a Strategic Systems Consultant for MAS Holdings, and various Finance positions at Ecolab, before transitioning into her current role at ARC. At ARC, she gets to combine her work with her passion for serving the global community. While maintaining the financial controls necessary for an international NGO, Tharangi works to expand the mission of her organization. She also led and continues to participate in Stretch Expeditions with Prouty Project to serve and learn about diverse societies around the globe.

    Loan Huynh is a Shareholder at Fredrikson & Byron and has practiced immigration law for over 20 years. She focuses on employment-based immigration, corporate immigration compliance and global mobility solutions for employers, ranging from Fortune 500 companies to mid-size companies, entrepreneurs/investors, and family-owned farms. refugees. Loan’s first job
    after law school was a legal fellowship with The Advocates for Human Rights. She went on to become a staff attorney in The Advocates’ Refugee & Immigrant Program before going into private practice. Loan is an active attorney volunteer with The Advocates, a member of its Board of Directors, and serves on its Refugee & Immigrant Program Steering Committee.

    Huy Pham oversees the National Capacity Building Project at The Center for Victims of Torture. The project provides technical assistance and training to organizations serving survivors of torture in the US. Prior to CVT, he has worked for a number of international non-governmental organizations, including Save the Children International, The Advocates for Human Rights, and American Refugee Committee. From 2007-2013, Mr. Pham was the country director of the Save the Children International in Vietnam. At Save the Children, he led policy advocacy and managed programs focusing on health systems, nutrition, education and protection for children.