Terra Penny joined McKnight in July 2022 as controller. In this role, Terra oversees the finance department, advances its work, builds its capacity, and ensures alignment with the Foundation’s values of curiosity, respect, equity, and stewardship.

Terra is passionate about leveraging her skills, leadership, and enthusiasm to contribute to the stability and success of organizations making powerful community impacts. Most recently she was the director of finance and accounting with the Science Museum of Minnesota, and before that, the assistant controller at the University of St. Thomas.

In her more than 20 years as a finance professional, Terra has managed high-performing teams, ensured efficient and accurate financial reporting, led annual budget and forecast processes, coordinated audits, and improved financial policies, procedures, and systems. She has also worked to center equity, creating supplier diversity programs, participating in equity action groups, and becoming a qualified administrator of the Intercultural Development Inventory (IDI).

Terra received a bachelor of arts in accounting from Gustavus Adolphus College and is a certified public accountant (CPA). An active volunteer, she served for 10 years on the board of directors of Friends of the Mississippi River and is currently the treasurer of Pro-Choice Minnesota. A lifelong Minnesotan, Terra lives in Roseville with her husband and two children.