Dan is the Co-Founder of Grassroots Solutions where he currently focuses on one-to-one leadership coaching. He spent over twenty years as a strategy consultant and evaluator to large advocacy organizations, foundations, and political campaigns.
Dan believes that winning and building sustained power for social change depends on having strategic, equitable, healthy, and imaginative leaders, and that’s why he is currently focusing his attention on his leadership coaching practice. His unique coaching philosophy and approach is shaped by the years he spent working at the intersection of elections, advocacy, evaluation, policymaking, and entrepreneurship. In particular, his strategic engagement work for the Kresge Foundation in the city of Detroit demonstrated the importance of strong, creative, and credible local leaders as the primary agents for long-term social change. Similarly, the 10 years Dan spent working to help legalize same sex marriage taught him that traditional and outdated approaches to leadership and movement-building must be discarded in favor of more dynamic, curious, and relational models. These experiences and many others for clients such as the National Audubon Society, Energy Foundation, Center for the American Experiment, Atlantic Philanthropies and U.S. Senators Tina Smith, Al Franken, and Paul Wellstone mean that Dan is not an armchair theorist about leadership. Instead, he approaches his work from a practitioner’s perspective.
Dan lives in St. Paul, Minnesota with his wife Cassie and Doc the Basset Hound who will turn 10 this year. Dan is a competitive backgammon player, an avid cook and reader, and loves to goof around with his 4 nieces and nephews. He and Cassie are also cancer bloggers chronicling how they, as a couple, are navigating life after her Metastatic Breast Cancer diagnosis. You can check out their personal reflections at www.meaningandstuff.com. His cancer and caregiving experiences have very much influenced how Dan thinks about questions of balance, privilege, presence, empathy, priorities, and other aspects of personal and professional development.
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