Kelsey Johnson joined McKnight in June 2020 as the Midwest Climate & Energy and International program team administrator with the Grants & Program Operations department. In this role, Kelsey acts as the contact for outside consultants, coordinates the flow of the program administrative budgets, and manages events—most notably McKnight’s annual international Collaborative Crop Research Program Leadership Team Convening. During her tenure, Kelsey has loved working with such a broad range of sectoral and international consultants, and she always aspires to make processes simpler and more accessible for our partners.

Kelsey has dedicated her career to elevating different perspectives in the fight for social and environmental justice. Before her time at McKnight, Kelsey worked to shift mindsets about food systems through her roles facilitating events for Iowa’s chapter of Buy Fresh, Buy Local and designing web campaigns for Woman, Food, and Agriculture Network. A love of writing and exploring different perspectives led Kelsey to live and work internationally, teaching persuasive writing at the Fulbright Institute in Quito, Ecuador, and completing a master’s degree in comparative literature at Trinity College Dublin.

Originally from Chicago, Kelsey moved to the Twin Cities in 2020 and is committed to making Minnesota her home. She is always open to insider knowledge about volunteer opportunities, unique restaurants, and hidden bike paths. Kelsey is also pursuing a master of science degree in sustainable management at the University of Wisconsin–Green Bay.