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16th Annual
Leadership Challenge Conference
Leadership Competencies for Success

Unimagined Courage: Leadership from Within
Afternoon Keynote MayKao Y. Hang

MayKao Hang became the sixth President and CEO of the Amherst H. Wilder Foundation in 2010. She is the first woman and the first person of color in the Foundation’s 106 year history to serve in this role. MayKao, a former Hmong refugee from Laos, has a BA degree in Psychology from Brown University and a MA degree in Social Policy and Distributive Justice from the Hubert H. Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs. Join MayKao and Dr. Paula King, dean of the School of Business and Leadership, as they engage in a conversation on leadership experiences, challenges and philosophies and making a difference in our community.




MayKao Y. Hang
President & CEO
Amherst H. Wilder Foundation


MayKao Y. Hang is the President and CEO of the Amherst H. Wilder Foundation, a nonprofit health and human services organization that has served the greater Saint Paul, Minnesota, since 1906. As CEO, MayKao provides governance to a multi-faceted institution with over 40 direct service programs for children, families and older adults, large scale community development initiatives, and one of the nation’s largest nonprofit research groups. She works closely with a committed Board of Directors and oversees all strategic planning as well as financial management for a $52M annual budget and $239M in assets.

In a changing social environment, MayKao fosters responsiveness, innovation, and effectiveness throughout the Wilder Foundation and its 390 employees. Previously, she served as the Division Director of Children and Family Services for the Wilder Foundation where she had responsibility for leading, directing, and guiding the strategic work for children and families. MayKao was also the Director of Adult Services for the Ramsey County Human Services Department.

At Ramsey County, she had responsibility and oversight of all services and staff in the county delivering an array of social services to people 18 and over and for children with physical and developmental disabilities. She has also held the position of Resident Services Director at the St. Paul Public Housing Agency, where she managed 4,200 units of public housing and related community services for residents. MayKao is an active community member who works hard to improve services and systems for the most vulnerable in society. She recently helped established the first endowed fund with the Minnesota Women’s Foundation to improve the lives of Hmong women.

MayKao has a BA degree in Psychology from Brown University and a MA degree in Social Policy and Distributive Justice from the Hubert H. Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs. She currently serves as the Chair of the Twin Cities Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC), a Trustee of Minnesota Philanthropy Partners, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, and is on the Advisory Committee of the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation.