In her fellowship role, Jenifer will help build EdAllies’ capacity to shape strong, student-centered education policy. Jenifer will utilize her education policymaking expertise to inform and advance EdAllies’ advocacy strategy and educate partners, policymakers, and the community about opportunities to advance meaningful change for young Minnesotans.
Jenifer is a former member of the Minnesota House of Representatives, serving for five terms from 2009-2019, representing Eden Prairie. While in the House, Jenifer served on the Tax, Commerce, Ways and Means, and Education Policy Committees. In 2015, she was named Chair of the Education Finance Committee, a leadership position she held for four years, through the end of her legislative service. Her legislative accomplishments include numerous education reforms, including ending statutory Last In First Out layoff policies for teachers, developing early childhood education scholarships for under-resourced children, and promoting mentorship programs.
Jenifer also has extensive experience in the tax, regulatory, and small business space, including authoring the taproom or “Surly” bill, the law allowing Sunday liquor sales, and creation of MnVest. She also successfully increased help
to working families with child care expenses through an expansion of the state’s dependent care tax credit included in the
2017 tax reform bill, and authored the prize-linked savings law to incentivize Minnesotans to increase their personal
Prior to moving to Minnesota, Jenifer spent 13 years in Washington, DC, working on legislative policy and focusing on the tax and regulatory challenges impacting small businesses. There, she worked in the U.S. Senate and then the House of Representatives—serving as Chief of Staff to the Committee on Small Business in her final position.
Jenifer began her advocacy for high-quality education for all children over 20 years ago, first as an active public school classroom volunteer and ascending to leadership positions in parent-educator organizations.