Shawntera M. Hardy

Founder and Principal

Company: PolicyGrounds Consulting
Role: DIB Presenter

Diversity Insights Breakfast: Global Citizenship: Whole World Sensibilities and Responsibilities
Post: Global Citizenship: Whole World Sensibilities and Responsibilities

Shawntera M. Hardy is an award winning policy professional and serial entrepreneur with over 15 years of experience leading work in the areas of government affairs, healthcare access, economic and workforce development, environmental sustainability, city planning, and international affairs. Shawntera’s current leadership includes her roles as the founder of PolicyGrounds Consulting, a strategic management firm working at the intersection of public policy development, organizational effectiveness, and economic development; the cofounder and chief strategy officer for Civic Eagle, a tech company building policy intelligence software that automates state and federal legislative tracking; and as the cofounder of Fearless Commerce, a publication and platform focused on elevating Black women business owners.

Prior to going full-time in her business ventures, Shawntera was appointed by Governor Mark Dayton as the Commissioner of the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) where she led a team of 1300 public servants and an annual budget of $600 million. While at DEED, she played a critical role in shaping the lives of everyday Minnesotans by spearheading the state’s investment in inclusive economic growth and operational excellence. Additional past leadership roles for Shawntera include: deputy chief of staff for Governor Mark Dayton; policy director for FreshEnergy; government relations manager for HealthPartners; and city planner for the City of Saint Paul.

Shawntera has a strong commitment to serving in the community. She is currently a member of the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis community advisory committee; Minnesota Public Radio board of trustee; Great North Labs advisor; and member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc, a global sorority grounded in servant-leadership. To ensure access to educational opportunities, Hardy co-founded and directs the Fatima Kinshasa Memorial Fund and the Pioneer Scholars Award, both at The Ohio State University.

Throughout her career, Shawntera has been honored and her work has been recognized. She was selected as a 2018 Bush Foundation Fellow; YWCA of St. Paul 2018 Changemaker awardee; International Leadership Institute 2018 International Leader honoree; Twin Cities Business 100 People to Know in 2017; Minnesota Business Magazine 2016 (Real) Power 50 finalist; 2016 Ohio’s State University Black Alumni Society Buckeye Under 40 honoree; Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal 2015 “Forty Under Forty” honoree; and a participant in the 2015 Young American Leaders Program at Harvard Business School.

Born and raised in Youngstown, Ohio, Shawntera holds a Bachelor of Science in Consumer Affairs from The Ohio State University, and a Master of Urban and Regional Planning from the State University of New York at Buffalo School of Architecture and Planning.


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