Alliance Announces Leadership Transition in Fall 2019

In 1994, a handful of activists formed the Alliance for Metropolitan Stability with a bold vision: uniting across issues and geographies to advocate for smarter growth and social  justice in the Twin Cities. Over the past 25 years, thousands of community leaders have worked together to evolve that vision and turn our hopes for a more equitable region into reality, not only securing funding and policy wins but shifting narratives about power, privilege and who deserves to thrive in our neighborhoods.

As we celebrate the 25th Anniversary of the Alliance, we also mark a transition of leadership. As our long-time Executive Director, Russ Adams, moves on to new endeavors, Joo Hee Pomplun will become the Alliance’s new Executive Director in Fall 2019. With deep relationships and knowledge of this work, Pomplun and Alliance staff will continue to inhabit the intersections of critical community issues  and build the coalitions that have created a diverse and dynamic movement for regional equity.

“As we’ve approached our 25th anniversary, I’ve been reflecting on my 24-year tenure at the Alliance and the privilege to work alongside so many tireless, visionary leaders,” Adams says. “Together, we’ve made transformational gains in affordable housing, transit and health equity, economic and workforce development, and environmental justice. But our work has been so much more than the visible wins around funding and policy. By resourcing organizing, centering those most impacted, and being accountable to community, we’ve been able to drive racial equity into the analysis, practices and worldviews that inform so many of the systems that impact our day-to-day lives.”

“As Executive Director, I’ve had the opportunity to learn and grow as an equity advocate, not only from our community partners, but from Alliance staff, as well,” Adams adds. “In our own programmatic evaluations, Alliance staff like to ask the question, ‘As organizers, did we step back so that others could step forward?’ I know in my gut that this is an opportune time to apply that principle to our own executive leadership at our organization and I’m incredibly excited about the future work of The Alliance.”

Currently our Director of Organizing & Research, our incoming Executive Director, Joo Hee Pomplun, was already well-known and respected throughout our networks when she joined the Alliance staff in 2017 after many years leading and organizing around equity issues, starting on the doors of Frogtown as an ACORN organizer, later as Executive Director of the Minnesota Asian/American Health Coalition, and most recently as Director of Policy and Advocacy at the Asian Economic Development Association (AEDA). Pomplun will work closely with a leadership team at the Alliance, which will also include Owen Duckworth (Director of Organizing & Policy) and Maura Brown (Associate Director).

“Over the past two years, I’ve had the opportunity to engage more deeply with Alliance member organizations and stakeholders,” Pomplun says. “In covening efforts around the Equitable Development Principles & Scorecard, working with Alliance member organizations and stakeholders to co-create Our AREA: Alliance Regional Equity Agenda, and my other roles at the Alliance, I’ve seen the impact of our unique role in the advocacy landscape and am eager to continue to build our coalitions and amplify our impact in areas like economic development and health equity.”

Over the course of several months, the Alliance board of directors reflected on and reviewed several leadership models and transition options, integrating the organization’s core commitments to equity and elevating qualified leaders. Unanimously supported by the board, the selected leadership team and structure will allow for continuity in the Alliance’s work and ensure that our collective commitment to building the breadth and power of the movement for regional equity in the Twin Cities remains unwavering.

“As organizers, we know the identities and issues of our communities intersect in complex ways — and, as board members, we know the role of the Alliance in convening our interests is different than many organizations,” says Alliance Board chair Asad Aliweyd, president of the New American Development Center. “While Russ has been invaluable in laying the foundation, we are fully confident that Joo Hee and staff leadership will chart an equally bold and impactful future for the Alliance. We’re eager to see what we can accomplish together in the next 25 years.”

Stay tuned for much more about the Alliance’s 25th Anniversary — and how you can get involved — at