Deena Anders, Director of Development

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Deena Anders holds a Bachelor’s degree in English from the University of Minnesota and a Master in Public Affairs degree with a Concentration in Human Rights from the Humphrey School of Public Affairs program.


Throughout her career she has pursued positions that combine research and evaluation with opportunities to design and implement novel responses to persistent issues. She adheres to the principle that a proper definition of the problem at hand is essential to the creation of a solution with the intended outcome. Getting to the proper definition requires the ability to hear the stories of those most affected, to apply critical analysis to identify the gaps of existing responses, and to explore the potential causal and mitigating factors. She is also passionate about building the capacity of the organizations and individuals best positioned to address the issue, believing that community generated intervention to community identified issues are the most effective.  She finds it energizing and rewarding to use her skills within organizations that work for social justice.


Ms. Anders began her career in 1998 at the Domestic Abuse Project (DAP), a mainstream therapy and advocacy organization in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Initially she oversaw the national training initiative, program manual development and sales, agency communications, and branding. Over the years she held positions of Director of Communications and Community Relations and Director of Planning and Evaluation before stepping into the role of Director of Operations.


Beginning in 2007, Ms. Anders was enlisted as the Project Director of the Fourth Judicial District Domestic Fatality Review Team, a collaboration of private, public and non-profit organizations charged with developing recommendations for improvements to policy and practice facilitating identification, intervention, and prevention efforts. Ms. Anders provides case research, facilitation, and captured the work of the team by turning it into an Annual Report of Opportunities for Intervention.


In 2010, Ms. Anders began serving as co-investigator on a research team made up of community providers and university researchers. The team initially was tasked with evaluating the integration of trauma-informed yoga into services for people who have experienced violence, and the physical effects of abuse on cardio-metabolic health. Ms. Anders has also conducted research on the influence of childhood trauma on recidivism, client retention and relationship status, and the length of response time for 911 calls and case outcomes among other topics.


Ms. Anders has been Community Faculty in the University of Minnesota School of Social Work since 2014 and teaches Adult Intimate Partner Violence: Intervention and Prevention, a core class in the undergraduate Family Violence Prevention minor.


Since 2015, Ms. Anders has worked in a consultancy capacity with Cultural Wellness Center on grant and contract administration, organizational system development, and integrating compliance measures agency-wide. Most recently, Ms. Anders has taken on the role of Director of Development at The Advocates for Human Rights.