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Heegaard leaving Minnesota Higher Ed post to join Bush Foundation

Susan Heegaard is leaving her job as director of the Minnesota Office of Higher Education to join the Bush Foundation as vice president and team leader for educational achievement.She’s had the state job since 2004 and is credited by Gov.

Susan Heegaard is leaving her job as director of the Minnesota Office of Higher Education to join the Bush Foundation as vice president and team leader for educational achievement.

She’s had the state job since 2004 and is credited by Gov. Tim Pawlenty with helping implement several of his post-secondary initiatives, including:

• Implementing the first statewide accountability system and annual report for higher education.

• Establishing a campus of the University of Minnesota presence in downtown Rochester, as well as a strong research collaborative between the University of Minnesota and the Mayo Clinic.

• Guiding the development of Centers of Excellence, or flagship programs, at Minnesota State Colleges and Universities.

• And developing the Achieve Scholarship, a financial aid program for Minnesota graduates who complete a rigorous course of study in high school.

Before taking the Higher Ed job, Heegaard was a senior policy adviser to Pawlenty. She’s also worked at the Minnesota Private College Council and the Minnesota Chamber of Commerce.

She also managed federal strategy in Washington, D.C., for Gov. Arne Carlson, was education liaison in the Governor’s Office and director of inter-government affairs for the Minnesota Department of Education. She served as an aide to U.S. Sen. David Durenberger in 1993 and 1994.