Action Alert

Fair trade or free trade? Let your voice be heard on Minnesota’s future!

The Obama Administration is negotiating two new mega trade deals (one with Pacific Rim countries, another with Europe) entirely in secret, with the goal of further expanding the NAFTA-model of free trade. These trade agreements could have major impacts on Minnesota's farmers, workers, small business owners and rural communities. They could limit Minnesota’s ability to support local food and energy systems and grow local businesses. In order to stay up to speed, Minnesota has set up a new Trade Policy Advisory Council (TPAC) to advise the state legislature and Governor.

TPAC wants to hear from Minnesotans: What concerns do you have about free trade? What role could TPAC play in the future? Now is your opportunity to have a say in our future trade policy. Complete the survey and let them know future trade negotiations should be public, not secret. Help ensure the voices of all Minnesotans are heard in the development of trade agreements and that they protect local control and our quality of life. The free trade model has failed for Minnesota and we need a new approach to trade. Help ensure the voices of all Minnesotans are heard before trade agreements are completed, and that they protect local control, our natural resources and our quality of life.

Please take five minutes and complete the survey. To find out more about these trade agreements, go to

Staff and Advisors

Colleen Borgendale

Communications Assistant

Colleen Borgendale is the assistant to the communications team at IATP. Her responsibilities include assisting with production and design of print and online publications and social media production.

Dr. M. Jahi Chappell

Director of Agroecology and Agriculture Policy

Dr. M. Jahi Chappell is the director of Agroecology and Agriculture Policy at IATP.

Anna Claussen

Director of Rural Strategies

Anna Claussen is the director of Rural Strategies at IATP.

Kristen Frank

Administrative Assistant

Kristen Frank joined IATP in April 2013 as the organization’s administrative assistant and front desk receptionist.

Yohannes Ghebru

Finance Assistant

Yohannes Ghebru is the finance assistant at IATP.

Karen Hansen-Kuhn

Director International Strategies

Karen Hansen-Kuhn is the director of IATP's International Strategies Program and works in Washington, D.C.

Jim Harkness

Senior Advisor on China

Jim Harkness is Senior Advisor on China

Kate Hoff

Vice President for Development

Kate Hoff is the vice president for development at IATP.

Pete Huff

Director of Food Systems

Pete Huff is the Director of Food Systems at IATP.

Dennis Keeney

Senior Advisor

Dr. Dennis Keeney is a senior advisor to IATP on Soil Science and Sustainable Agriculture since 2000 and served as the first director of the Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture.

Jim Kleinschmit

Director of Climate and Energy Initiatives

Jim Kleinschmit is the director of IATP's Director of Climate and Energy Initiatives.

Patti Landres


Patti sorts and organizes all of IATP's documents and archives.

Ben Lilliston

Vice President for Program

Ben Lilliston oversees IATP’s programs and strategy to ensure they are effective, coordinated and true to mission.

Juliette Majot


Juliette Majot is president of the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy.

Erin McKee VanSlooten

Senior Program Associate for Farm to Institution

Erin McKee VanSlooten is a program associate with IATP's Farm to Institution program.

Sophia Murphy

Senior Advisor

Sophia Murphy is a senior advisor to IATP on Trade and Food Security.

Karen Quiroz

Grant Writer

Karen Quiroz is a grant writer with IATP.

Corinne Rafferty

Vice President for Organization

Corinne Rafferty is the vice president for programs at IATP.

Andrew Ranallo

Communications Associate

Andrew Ranallo is responsible for the consistency of IATP's print and online publications, online outreach via social media and press relations.

Catherine Reagan

Program Assistant

Catherine Reagan is a program assistant with IATP and helps with reporting, research and administrative duties throughout the organization.

Tara Ritter

Program Associate for Climate and Rural Communities

Tara Ritter is a program associate with IATP.

Jim Sauder

Vice President for Finance and Operations

Jim Sauder is the vice president for finance and operations at IATP.

Shefali Sharma

Director Agricultural Commodities and Globalization

Shefali Sharma is director of IATP's Agricultural Commodities and Globalization Initiatives.

Dr. Steve Suppan

Senior Policy Analyst for Market Regulation, Trade and Technology

Dr. Steve Suppan is a senior policy analyst focusing on agriculture, trade and food safety policy.

Patrick Tsai

Senior Programmer

Patrick Tsai's duties include research, writing and policy analysis.

Shiney Varghese

Senior Policy Analyst for Water, Agroecology and Gloabal Governance

Shiney Varghese leads IATP's work on global water policy.

Linda Vieira

Building Manager

Linda Vieira is responsible for the well-being of IATP's 100-year-old office buildings.

Dale Wiehoff

Vice President for Communications and IT

Dale Wiehoff is responsible for overseeing the internal and external communications systems, publications, Web sites and media relations for IATP.