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Julia Olmstead oversees Fresh Energy’s programmatic philanthropic work across the organization, collaborating with lead directors to inspire and secure foundation support for priority programs. Julia has deep experience bridging policy, philanthropy, and on-the-ground work, with much of her career focused on sustainable, equitable agriculture systems. Julia worked as a program officer at the McKnight Foundation and currently serves on the board of the Friends of the Mississippi River, in Saint Paul, and of the Land Institute, in Salina, Kansas. She holds a B.A. from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, an M.S. in plant breeding from Iowa State University, and an M.J. in journalism from the University of California-Berkeley.
Before moving to Saint Paul where she lives with her family, Julia lived and worked abroad in Latin America. Julia co-owns a small women-owned business in Saint Paul and enjoys riding her bike down the hill to the Fresh Energy office in downtown Saint Paul.