The McKnight Foundation will say farewell to a beloved colleague at the end of July. After 10 years of extraordinary service and leadership, Aimee Witteman, program director for the Midwest Climate & Energy program, has decided to step down from her position.
“Aimee has brought immense talent and skills to McKnight’s mission,” said Debby Landesman, McKnight’s board chair. “We thank her for her inspired service over the past decade, and we wish her well as she prepares for her next adventure.”
The Midwest Climate & Energy program was launched in 2013 under Witteman’s direction after she led the board and senior staff in a redesign of its predecessor. Since then, Witteman has leveraged grants, impact investments, and engagement of public and private leaders to advance deep decarbonization of the region’s energy system. In 2019, she again led the board and staff through a program redesign that concluded with the board’s decision to significantly expand the Midwest Climate & Energy program’s scope and grantmaking over the next three years.
“Aimee has brought immense talent and skills to McKnight’s mission. We thank her for her inspired service over the past decade, and we wish her well as she prepares for her next adventure.” —DEBBY LANDESMAN, McKNIGHT BOARD CHAIR
Previously, Witteman served as McKnight’s Environment program officer, specializing in water quality and agriculture systems. She also held leadership positions in several nonprofit organizations throughout the country, including as executive director of the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition, where she guided federal policy advocacy, strategic communications, and grassroots campaign efforts.
“I’m profoundly grateful for and proud of the work that McKnight has undertaken in partnership with our grantees and colleagues over the past decade,” said Witteman. “McKnight’s new commitment to expanding its work addressing the climate crisis and advancing racial equity in Minnesota could not be happening at a more important time. As I turn toward new horizons and opportunities for me and my family, I am excited to pass the baton to the next leader.”
With its goal to take bold action on the climate crisis by dramatically cutting carbon pollution in the Midwest by 2030, the Midwest Climate & Energy program will honor and build upon learnings from its long-standing work while making space for new ideas. Later this summer, the Foundation will post an open position for the new program director, and it expects to announce the final strategies and program guidelines for the Midwest Climate & Energy program this fall.