African American Leadership Forum

AALF Leadership

Board Chair:

Dr. Sylvia Bartley- Medtronic, Inc. 

Sylvia Bartley, BSc (Hons), Pharmacology; PhD, Neurophysiology

Global Director, Medtronic Philanthropy

Dr. Sylvia Bartley is the Global Director for Medtronic Philanthropy.  Dr. Bartley holds a doctorate in neurophysiology.  Since moving to Minneapolis in 2010, Sylvia has devoted much of her free time to improving the health, education and economic status of underserved communities. She has assumed board leadership roles for six prominent non-profit organizations including the African American Leadership Forum, The Harvest Network of Schools, Achieve MPLS, and The Black Women’s Health Imperative. She is a recipient of a 2014 Bush Foundation Fellowship, awarded for extraordinary achievement and potential to lead change and strengthen the community. She received the Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal’s Diversity in Business Award in 2013 and their Women in Business Award in 2017 for her outstanding contribution to business and education reform in the Twins Cities.

Learn More About Sylvia Here


John Taylor, Treasurer, Manager, Director of Supplier Diversity

Stella Whitney West, Secretary, CEO, NorthPoint Health & Wellness


Alex Tittle, Vice President, Super Bowl Host Committee

Billy Charvez Russel, Executive Director, Friendship Academy

Carolyn Smallwood, Executive Director, Way to Grow

Nerita Hughes, Manager, Ramsey County

Ravi Norman, CEO, Thor Construction

Jeff Hayden, Senator, Minnesota State Congressman

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Jeffrey Hassan- Executive Director

On November 1, 2014, attorney Jeffrey A. Hassan agreed to become AALF’s Executive Director. Hassan will continue to direct the AALF towards its mission of full employment and building wealth, closing the achievement gap, affecting legislative policy and promoting healthy living in the Twin Cities African American Community.

Hassan brings 38 years of experience as a trial attorney, as well as having provided legal representation to organizations and institutions such as the Harvest Network of Schools, Minneapolis Public Schools, Metropolitan Council, Howard University, and Minneapolis and St. Paul Urban League. In the last years of his career, Hassan focused primarily on issues surrounding education. Hassan is a life-long resident of the Twin Cities and euphemistically refers to himself as being “International,” in that he has lived an equal number of years in Minneapolis and St. Paul. He graduated from Minneapolis Central High school, Macalester College, and the University of Minnesota Law School.