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Nate Dorr is new program officer for Northwest Minnesota Foundation

Northwest Minnesota Foundation has announced Nate Dorr of Bemidji has been selected as the new NMF program officer for grants. Dorr will begin his duties June 4.

Jim Steenerson, who held the position since 2001, is retiring, effective Friday.

Dorr will be responsible for the grant programs, including on-site visits, research, analysis and action recommendations to the board. He will also coordinate NMF special partnership projects and work closely with Vice President for Programs Marty Sieve in expanding and developing new regional initiatives.

"We're extremely pleased that Nate will join the foundation as our program officer," NMF President Nancy Vyskocil said. "He has a strong background in working with the private, public and non-profit sectors, broad experience and proven abilities to manage projects.

"His skills will allow him to quickly understand how to manage all of the grant programs and processes of the foundation."

Dorr was born and raised in Bemidji. During his school years, he traveled throughout Minnesota playing hockey, baseball and soccer. He attended Bemidji State University and Oregon State University and graduated from the University of Minnesota in 2000 with a Bachelor of Science in sociology and social-psychology.

He followed up with a master's degree in public policy from the University Of Minnesota's Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs in 2002. There, he focused on regional economics and nonprofit management. As a graduate researcher, Dorr worked on NMF's "Quality of Place" study in 2001. Results of the study formed the basis for the foundation's strategies, which remain in place today.

Dorr most recently worked for the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development as a regional economist and statistician for 26 counties in northwestern Minnesota. Prior to that, he wrote grants for the Bug-O-Nay-Ge-Shig School in Bena, was a survey analyst at the USDA's National Agricultural Statistics Service in Montana and was a research specialist at the Minnesota Community Action Association in St Paul.

Dorr's volunteer work includes spearheading the Bemidji Skate Park, being an active board member at the Headwaters Science Center, and working as an intern in the Minnesota State Senate.

"I am excited about the new challenge of overseeing the grant programs for the Northwest Minnesota Foundation," Dorr said. "Having been on both sides of the grant application and review process, including time as a grants instructor, I have unique experiences to bring to the position. I believe I 'get it.'

"Partnerships and ventures with shared benefits are critical to the region," he added. "The amount and diversity of needs versus the limited resources of the region are clear to me."

The Northwest Minnesota Foundation is a public, charitable foundation serving 12 counties of Northwest Minnesota by investing resources, creating opportunities and promoting philanthropy.