Director of Community Engagement
As the director of community engagement, Avi Viswanathan leads the Minnesota Historical Society’s focus on community engagement with external partners. Avi plays a key role in building relationships, empathy, and understanding with all Minnesotans.
Avi’s commitment to community engagement extends beyond MNHS. He developed the curriculum and currently teaches a course in community-based leadership in the Master’s Degree in Professional Studies in Civic Engagement program at the University of Minnesota.
Prior to joining MNHS, Avi held positions in the nonprofit, public, and academic sectors. Most recently, he served as the director of the Community Engagement Institute at Nexus Community Partners in St. Paul, where he supported the creation of community engagement plans and structures in government agencies across the country. He has served as a fellow at the Bush Foundation, the Alliance for Metropolitan Stability, and the office of former Senator Al Franken and chaired the boards of the Headwaters Foundation for Justice and the Dayton’s Bluff Community Council.
Avi earned a B.S. from Georgia Institute of Technology in Computer Science and a law degree from Suffolk University Law School in Boston. He also received certifications from Cornell University for Diversity and Inclusion and from The London School of Economics and Political Science in Strategic Decision Making.