2021, Change agent: The Pohlad Family Foundation made headlines in June, after the killing of George Floyd, with a $25 million commitment to racial justice. The person who will oversee how that money is spent: Susan Bass Roberts. “I feel a tremendous sense of responsibility and urgency to build on this momentum and transform ourselves and our communities in significant and lasting ways,” Bass Roberts says. The foundation is planning grants in three phases: rebuilding communities affected by civil unrest, reimagining the role of police in communities, and long-term transformational change. “We are not the experts,” Bass Roberts says. “We are very intentional in our efforts to invite a wide range of perspectives on these challenging issues.”
2017, Influencer: In August, the foundation board—consisting of brothers Jim, Bob and Bill Pohlad—chose Susan Bass Roberts to lead their foundation. Addressing chronic poverty in north Minneapolis is a longstanding priority of the foundation. Bass Roberts, who previously led Best Buy’s foundation, will bring new energy and experience to tackling education and employment challenges. While the Pohlads own the Minnesota Twins, Bass Roberts also has some sports experience—she was a VP with the Atlanta Falcons football team. At the Pohlad Family Foundation, one of her key areas of emphasis will be programming that makes it possible for at-risk youth and young adults to complete their education and get jobs.