Juliana Keen Named Senior Director of Advocacy

Friday, August 23, 2019

Lutheran Social Service of Minnesota (LSS) named Juliana Keen Senior Director of Advocacy. In her new role, Juliana will oversee Lutheran Social Service’s state and national advocacy initiatives for policies that advance the organization’s vision that all people have the opportunity to live and work in community with full and abundant lives.

“Juliana has distinguished herself in service to our mission and vision,” said Jodi Harpstead, CEO for Lutheran Social Service of Minnesota. “She has been instrumental in our advocacy work on important bills that have advanced the health and wellbeing of people we support, and has served as a knowledgeable resource to legislators and other government officials on human service issues.”

Keen began working with Lutheran Social Service in 2014 as an advocacy manager. Her primary responsibilities were helping people served by the organization to share their personal stories with legislators about how public policies affect them so that elected officials can make more informed decisions.

Early on in her work, she helped develop and now leads Lutheran Social Service’s Advocacy Bootcamp training events. These in-depth trainings focus on the legislative process and equip employees, community members, and the people Lutheran Social Service serves to have a voice in the policy making process. Keen also provides leadership on the organization’s Anti-Racism initiative that includes working with communities of color to identify policy priorities that support racial equity.

Keen received Lutheran Social Service’s Breakthrough & Velocity Award recently for her work with nonpartisan voter engagement, ensuring all people have the opportunity to make their voices heard through the electoral process.

In the coming months, Keen will work on census education to help ensure fair and accurate representation of Minnesota’s population.

Keen lives with her husband and their two sons in Minneapolis. She is the granddaughter of Jewish refugees who actively engaged in their community and inspired her commitment to amplify the voices of underrepresented or oppressed communities.

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 2,300 employees and 8,000 volunteers, Lutheran Social Service helps one in 65 Minnesotans through services that inspire hope, change lives and build community. Statewide, 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 of Minnesota, visit