Minnesota Children’s Cabinet Update

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Minnesota Children’s Cabinet Update

Dear Children's Cabinet Stakeholders,

I am excited to let you know that Governor Walz and Lt. Governor Flanagan are relaunching the Children’s Cabinet to better align state agency and community efforts to improve outcomes for all Minnesota children. This cabinet will drive a proactive agenda on children across the Walz-Flanagan Administration, serving as an ignitor and accountability manager for ensuring action in critical areas that benefit children and families. It will be led by former nonprofit executive Erin Bailey. In the coming weeks the Children’s Cabinet team will engage stakeholders to help set the strategy to best meet the needs of the whole child. 

As chair of the Children’s Cabinet, I look forward to working with Erin in supporting Governor Walz and Lt. Governor Flanagan’s vision to ensure Minnesota children are healthy, safe, and prepared to achieve their full potential.

Myron Frans, Commissioner

About Erin Bailey

Erin Bailey has been a lifelong advocate for children and health care for underserved communities. She began her career in Washington, D.C., working in federal health policy including advising the United States Senate Committee on Indian Affairs. Erin also launched and served as the inaugural Executive Director at the Center for Native American Youth at the Aspen Institute, which is dedicated to raising national attention to the issues facing Native American youth.

Most recently, Erin served as the Director of Executive Initiatives at Gillette Children’s Specialty Healthcare in St. Paul. As a member of the senior team, Erin worked on a variety of strategic initiatives, including advocating for children who have disabilities and complex medical conditions.

Erin has a Bachelor of Science from Georgetown University and a Master in Public Health from the University of Minnesota. She is a recipient of the Daniel K. Inouye Indigenous Spirit Award and has been awarded the Outstanding Congressional Staff Award from the American Diabetes Association and the National Impact Award from the National Council of Urban Indian Health. She currently serves on the boards for the Center for Native American Youth at the Aspen Institute, National Alliance for Grieving Children, and the Friends of the Saint Paul Library.

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About the Children’s Cabinet

The Children’s Cabinet was established by law in 1993 and Governor Mark Dayton reestablished it in 2011. The cabinet currently consists of commissioners from the Minnesota Departments of Education, Health, Human Services, Transportation, Employment and Economic Development, and the Minnesota Housing Finance Agency, and the Metropolitan Council. Commissioner Myron Frans of Minnesota Management and Budget currently serves as chair. The cabinet works closely with a variety of external and advisory organizations and coalitions.

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“The Children’s Cabinet provides a unique opportunity to help make Minnesota the nation’s best state for children. I have known Erin for many years, and there is no better person to lead this endeavor. Bringing her immense expertise and experience, she will build on the policy agenda of One Minnesota to improve the wellbeing of children and positively shape the remainder of their lives.”

- Governor Tim Walz

“Being a lifelong advocate for children is central to who I am, and Erin has been a partner with me in this work for over a decade. I have worked with her in a variety of posts, even doing trainings for a Native American youth fellowship program she ran six years ago. She is exactly the kind of leader we need, with a proven track record for making progress and the trust of our administration to take on the most critical issues: how to improve the lives of our children.”

- Lt. Governor Peggy Flanagan

"I have worked with Erin Bailey in both the U.S. Congress and in a nonprofit organization dedicated to children's welfare, and I know she is a remarkably talented executive with an impressive track record working on issues affecting the lives of children.”

- Former United States Senator Byron Dorgan

“Erin’s abilities and experience will bring a unique opportunity to advance an agenda that benefits all children in Minnesota. She is known for forging relationships and connecting leaders and I expect she will bring health care, social service organizations, and business to the table to advance the work of the Children’s Cabinet.”

- Barbara Joers, President and CEO, Gillette Children’s Specialty Healthcare