As a program officer with the Vibrant & Equitable Communities and Midwest Climate & Energy programs, Dominic McQuerry oversees and develops innovative grant portfolios at the intersection of McKnight’s climate and equity goals with an emphasis on strengthening democratic participation and civic engagement. McQuerry is a policy and community engagement professional with a passion for supporting people’s lives and livelihoods, guiding and supporting powerful coalitions in Minnesota on housing, healthcare, child care, and more. McQuerry will develop and implement a Minnesota-based strategy to strengthen the movement efficacy and power of those affected by injustice.
McQuerry came to McKnight from Amherst H. Wilder Foundation, where he directed public policy and community relations work, leading successful coalitions at the state Capitol. At Wilder Foundation, McQuerry worked to break down the silos in policymaking that separate people and communities from the process—spurring collective action and bringing new voices to the state Capitol. Together with a multitude of partners, McQuerry fought for health, human services, and housing policy changes, securing major wins for Minnesotans. Notably, McQuerry partnered with parents from the Saint Paul Promise Neighborhood and Neighborhoods for All coalitions to pass legislation to establish Homework Starts with Home, a rental assistance program for homeless and highly mobile families with school-aged children. He also managed the Community Equity Program, where he focused on deepening the engagement of BIPOC communities in the legislative process.
From 2019 to 2020, McQuerry served as a policy advisor to Governor Tim Walz and Lt. Governor Peggy Flanagan on capital investment, housing, homelessness, veterans’ affairs, and broadband development. In this role, he helped guide strategy and legislation for the governor’s office, advised state agency commissioners and staff on the development of policy and budget initiatives, negotiated with legislators, and worked closely with stakeholders. During his tenure, Minnesota passed the largest bonding bill in state history, including $30 million specifically for projects for nonprofit organizations led by and serving BIPOC Minnesotans.
McQuerry teaches a course on nonprofit advocacy, organizing, and lobbying as a community faculty member in Metropolitan State University’s Masters of Advocacy and Political Leadership program. He holds a master’s degree in public policy and a bachelor’s degree in political science from the University of Minnesota, and he received a Humphrey School Student Leadership Award in 2017 for his contributions to the common good through leadership and service.