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YWCA Minneapolis Board Elects Michelle Basham as New President and CEO

By YWCA Minneapolis
December 3, 2019
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MINNEAPOLIS – December 3, 2019 – YWCA Minneapolis Board of Directors is pleased to announce that Michelle Basham has been elected its new president and CEO.

Michelle comes to YWCA Minneapolis from The Bridge for Youth, where she has served as executive director since 2016. Prior to that, Michelle served as CEO of YWCA Delaware and held leadership positions at CommonBond Communities, the largest provider of affordable housing in the Upper Midwest, FamilyWise and the Minnesota Department of Human Services. Michelle also co-founded the Nonprofit Emerging Leaders Academy.

Michelle’s experience includes more than 20 years of leadership in the nonprofit and public sectors, including starting and leading multiple nonprofit and public policy initiatives. She holds an undergraduate degree in communications and organizational development, a graduate degree in public administration and business and a law degree. In addition, Michelle completed a fellowship at the Humphrey Institute Public Policy Forum where she did her group work on women and people of color in political leadership.

At the age of 19, Michelle founded Avenues for Homeless Youth which in 1993, was the first shelter for youth experiencing homelessness in Minneapolis. The organization is still in existence today. She is a tireless advocate of youth who are victims of sex trafficking and LGBTQ+ youth who are disproportionately represented among young people experiencing homelessness. In support of this work, Michelle also started the Minnesota Runaway and Homeless Youth Coalition.

Michelle has received numerous awards, including the City of Minneapolis Award and the Outstanding Young Minnesotans/Americans from the Jaycees. Michelle’s work also included leading the collection of data regarding racial disparities in criminal justice and judicial systems for Hamline University School of Law.

Throughout her life and work, Michelle’s passion has been fighting for those who are oppressed, abused or the subject of discrimination. “It is an honor to be joining YWCA Minneapolis as its new leader and I look forward to working with our talented staff and board members to advance our extraordinary mission,” says Michelle.

“YWCA Minneapolis is delighted to welcome Michelle as its CEO,” says Kate Berman, board chair of YWCA Minneapolis. “Throughout her career, Michelle has demonstrated a commitment to YWCA Minneapolis’ mission of eliminating racism and empowering women. She brings a wealth of prior leadership experience as a chief executive for other nonprofits, including YWCA Delaware. She has demonstrated strong leadership in both fulfilling commitments to our community and developing her service teams in all her previous roles.”

Michelle Basham will begin transitioning to her new role January 6, 2020.

About YWCA Minneapolis

YWCA Minneapolis is a nonprofit organization dedicated to eliminating racism, empowering women, and promoting peace, justice, freedom and dignity for all. For more than 128 years, we have worked to create opportunities to overcome social injustice, particularly in matters of race and gender. Last year, YWCA Minneapolis served more than 30,000 people in our community through high-quality programs and advocacy focused on racial justice, early learning, youth development and wellness. To learn more, visit


Cori Mattli

YWCA Minneapolis