Joe Khawaja Named Vice President and Chief Financial Officer at Lutheran Social Service of Minnesota

Thursday, February 10, 2022

Joe Khawaja has been named vice president and chief financial officer for St. Paul-based Lutheran Social Service of Minnesota (LSS), among the largest human service organizations in Minnesota. Effective February 14, he will be responsible for Finance, Accounting, Information Technology and Property Management.  

“I'm humbled, honored and excited to serve as CFO for Lutheran Social Service of Minnesota,” Khawaja said. “I love the mission, vision and strategic imperatives of LSS and feel very privileged to be part of an amazing organization, which enjoys utmost respect in the marketplace. I feel energized by the valuable work, fantastic team effort and great passion of our employees in meeting the needs of children and families, people with disabilities and older adults. I look forward to the opportunity to lead, contribute and participate in a strong and healthy LSS.” 

Khawaja has experience working in public, private, government and nonprofit sectors. He has been responsible for all aspects of financial management, including managing growth, overseeing mergers and acquisitions, and raising capital.

Previously, he served as the chief financial officer for Twin Cities Habitat for Humanity. Earlier in his career, Khawaja also held financial leadership roles with Federal Reserve Bank, Cargill Inc., and Aramark Corporation.

“We’re thrilled to welcome Joe to the LSS executive team,” said Patrick Thueson, President of Lutheran Social Service of Minnesota. “An exceptional leader, Joe has a collaborative style and the ability to develop sound growth strategies that keep the person served at the center of all we do.”

Khawaja received a bachelor’s degree in Finance from City University in New York, a master’s degree of Business Administration in Finance from Capella University based in Minneapolis, and executive certificates in Leadership from the University of Notre Dame in Indiana. He is a frequent speaker at Finance summits and was named a 2020 CFO of the Year by the Minneapolis-St. Paul Business Journal.

Khawaja currently serves on the supervisory committee of the Affinity Plus Credit Union Board of Directors and is a member of the National Association of Corporate Directors. He also provides leadership on Ascend, an Asian executive network promoting Asian Pan-American talent across the United States.

Khawaja lives in Maple Grove with his wife, Mahrukh, and two children, a son in 11th grade and daughter who is a freshman at the University of Minnesota. He enjoys physical fitness and volleyball.

Lutheran Social Service of Minnesota began in 1865 when a Lutheran pastor and his congregation opened an orphanage for children near Red Wing in southeastern Minnesota. Today, with 2,500 employees and 10,000 volunteers, Lutheran Social Service helps one in 65 Minnesotans through services that inspire hope, change lives, and build community. Some services, such as Adoption, Financial Counseling, Supported Decision-Making and Guardianship Options, Pooled Trust and Senior Companions support residents in other states as well. Through its mission, the organization seeks to foster safe and supportive homes for children, restore health and wellness in families, empower people with disabilities to live the lives they imagine, and promote health, independence and quality of life for older adults. For comprehensive information about the work of Lutheran Social Service, visit