The Office of the Board of Regents, headed by Executive Director and Corporate Secretary Brian Steeves, supports the 12 Regents in their governance and policy-making roles on behalf of the University and serves as a liaison to the University's administration and other constituencies. The staff manages the monthly agenda and docket process, maintains Board policies, documents official actions, coordinates open forums, and responds to public inquiries.

Brian Steeves

Executive Director and Corporate Secretary
Bio / Contact

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Brian Steeves
Executive Director and Corporate Secretary
bsteeves@umn.edu

Brian Steeves serves as executive director of the Board of Regents and corporate secretary of the University of Minnesota. This dual role is a unique leadership position of significant importance to the Board. Since the position was created in 1972, it has evolved to become a key adviser to each Board member, as well as to Board leadership, and also an advocate for good governance practices. The position serves as a liaison between the Board and senior leaders of the University, coordinates Board planning and communications with Regents, oversees Board of Regents policy review, and manages meeting logistics and day-to-day Board operations.

Before assuming this position, Brian served as deputy director in the Office of the Board of Regents for two years. Prior to joining the University, Brian spent seven years as an executive budget officer/team leader at Minnesota Management and Budget, where he managed a team of analysts and confidentially advised senior state government leaders on budget policy related to K-12 education, taxes, and state government operations. Before that, he served as a project coordinator for the City of Minneapolis, where he negotiated real estate redevelopment and financing arrangements and guided projects through regulatory approvals. Brian also completed a rural policy fellowship at the U.S. Department of Agriculture in Washington, D.C. before earning a master's degree from the University's Hubert H. Humphrey School of Public Affairs. He was awarded the prestigious Truman Scholarship and graduated summa cum laude from Minnesota State University Moorhead with a bachelor's degree in political science.

Sarah Dirksen

Deputy Director
Bio / Contact

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Sarah Dirksen
Deputy Director
sdirksen@umn.edu

Sarah Dirksen joined the Board of Regents staff in 2012 as deputy director. In that role, she supervises staff, manages the daily operations of the Board Office, serves as coordinator for the Board's Academic & Student Affairs Committee and Faculty & Staff Affairs Committee, and partners with the executive director to ensure good governance practices. Previously, Sarah managed special projects and board governance for the League of Minnesota Cities, a statewide association of city governments. She also served as constituent services manager for the Minnesota Department of Revenue, where she worked with the revenue commissioner to develop strategies for communicating policy initiatives and tax laws. In addition, Sarah built and managed the communication and research function for QI International, a consulting firm that designed tools to help organizations quantify customer perceptions. Sarah holds a bachelor's degree in news-editorial journalism from the University of Illinois, and was a 2003-2004 Humphrey Policy Fellow through the University of Minnesota's Center for the Study of Politics and Governance.

Stephanie Austin

Board Associate, Communications and Committees
Bio / Contact

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Stephanie Austin
Board Associate, Communications and Committees
saustin@umn.edu

Stephanie Austin serves as Board Associate, Communications and Committees. In that role, she provides direct support to the Facilities and Operations Committee and the Special Committee on Academic Medicine, and coordinates Board communications, travel and events. Stephanie joined the Board of Regents staff in 2013. Previously, she spent seven years at the Saint Paul Area Chamber of Commerce, most recently as the director of the Charitable Foundation. Stephanie earned her MBA from the University of Minnesota’s Carlson School of Management and a bachelor’s degree in business administration from the University of North Dakota.

Jason Langworthy

Board Associate, Policy & Committees
Bio / Contact

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Jason Langworthy
Board Associate, Policy & Committees
lang0789@umn.edu

Jason Langworthy joined the Board of Regents staff in 2014 as Board Associate, Policy and Committees. In that role, he provides direct support to the Finance Committee and Audit Committee; manages the Board’s policy work; coordinates the student representatives to the Board; and coordinate’s the office’s ticketing activities. Previously, Jason served as an outreach coordinator for the Children's Defense Fund–Minnesota, working with school districts across the state to increase utilization of the school breakfast program. Prior to that, he served as the vice-chair legislative assistant for the Minnesota State Senate Education Committee. Jason also spent five years as a high school social studies teacher at St. Croix Preparatory Academy, helping to build the high school program and social studies curriculum. He continues to serve as a member of that institution’s board. Jason holds a master of education degree from the University of Minnesota's College of Education and Human Development and a bachelor's degree in history and political science from Valparaiso University.

Pamela Hudson

Executive Assistant
Bio / Contact

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Pamela Hudson
Executive Assistant
phudson@umn.edu

Pamela Hudson has served the University of Minnesota for her entire professional career, joining the Board of Regents office staff in 2003. She coordinates the calendar for the Board and the executive director, compiles Board of Regents meeting agendas and dockets, staffs and prepares minutes for full board meetings, and arranges and staffs the annual Board retreat. Before assuming her Board office position, she worked at the University’s Hubert H. Humphrey School of Public Affairs, where she provided administrative support to four deans, the associate dean for instruction, and for directors of several public policy research centers. Pamela attended the University of Minnesota.

Mary Swords

Executive Secretary
Bio / Contact

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Mary Swords
Executive Secretary
mswords@umn.edu

Mary Swords joined the Board of Regents staff in 2010. Previously, she held positions in the Office of Service and Continuous Improvement and the Office of the Registrar. She serves as receptionist, processes expense reports and financial transactions, and maintains related records. Mary also coordinates a variety of activities, including Regent attendance at Commencement ceremonies, committee room usage, and many logistics for Board and committee meetings, and maintains office databases. She received an associate in arts degree from the University of Minnesota.