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Carol E. Byrne

Since 1996, Carol Engebretson Byrne has guided Global Minnesota to open global doors for Minnesotans and inspire its community to understand global issues and cultures in an ever-changing world. 


Under Carol’s leadership, Global Minnesota has evolved to become one of the ten largest World Affairs Council in the country, its membership has grown from 850 to over 2,000, and its revenues have increased 300% to $1.5 million in 2018-19. In addition to her duties at Global Minnesota, Carol has served on the Nobel Peace Prize Forum Executive Steering Committee, the Center for Hmong Studies Advisory Board at Concordia University, and the board of the Center for International Business Education and Research at the Carlson School of Management. She was on the national board of directors of the National Council for International Visitors (now Global Ties U.S.) until February 2011, the national board of the World Affairs Councils of America from 1998-2004, and served on fact-finding delegations to Brazil, NATO, Northern Ireland, and Morocco. In 2003 she traveled to Oslo, Norway to attend the Nobel Peace Prize Ceremonies. 


Carol has a Bachelor of Arts degree in International Relations from the University of Minnesota and a Master’s degree in International Administration from the School for International Training in Brattleboro, VT. She is also a former Policy Fellow of the Humphrey School of Public Affairs at the University of Minnesota. Prior to her tenure at Global Minnesota, Carol worked for ten years in New York City in the field of international exchange and in Washington, D.C. on Capitol Hill.


In July 2018, Carol publicly announced her plans to step down as president in January 2019.