Leadership & Staff

Leadership Team

The HUP Leadership Team guides the partnership’s direction and strengthens relationships between the two institutions.

Hennepin County Members

Commissioner Marion Greene
Chair, Hennepin County Board
Jodi Wentland
Deputy County Administrator - Health and Human Services
May Xiong
Assistant County Administrator - Disparity Reduction
David Hough
County Administrator
Lisa Cerney
Assistant County Administrator - Public Works
Jodie Wierimaa
Assistant County Administrator - Operations

University of Minnesota Members

Heidi Barajas
Interim Associate Vice President, Office for Public Engagement
Ed Goetz
Ed Goetz
Director, Center for Urban and Regional Affairs
Robert McMaster
Robert McMaster
Vice Provost & Dean of Undergraduate Education
Ryan Allen
Associate Dean, Humphrey School of Public Affairs
Tom Fisher
Tom Fisher
Director, Minnesota Design Center
Jessica Hellmann
Executive Director, Institute on the Environment

HUP Staff

The HUP office is financially supported by both the University of Minnesota and Hennepin County and is staffed by one full-time director and multiple graduate assistants. HUP staff shape partnership strategy and identify and support opportunities for collaboration through events, relationship building, project evaluation, administrative assistance, and more.

Scott Vargo
Scott Vargo

As Director of the Hennepin-University Partnership (HUP), Scott oversees the strategic connection between one of the largest urban land-grant universities and one of the most populous and innovative counties in the nation. 

Scott came to CURA from Hennepin County, where he led various efforts to further integrate academic partnerships into county operations. He also led a two-year initiative to develop a robust talent pipeline between Hennepin County and the UMN.

Scott is originally from Washington State, moving to Minnesota in 2009 to attend Macalester College. He received his master’s degree from the Humphrey School of Public Affairs. Scott lives in the Minneapolis neighborhood of Longfellow. 

Sarah Miller
Program Development Coordinator
Elena Fransen
Graduate Assistant