A Minnesota leader you didn’t know is a Metropolitan State alum: Sandra Best

Minnesota Air National Guard Chief of Staff Brig. Gen. Sandra L. Best

In February, alumna Air Force Col. Sandra L. Best became the first female general in Minnesota National Guard history when she was promoted to brigadier general. In her new position, Brig. Gen. Best will be the chief of staff of the Minnesota Air National Guard, responsible for command supervision, oversight and leadership of the 133rd Airlift Wing and 148th Fighter Wing to include all items pertaining to manning, operations, readiness, training and equipping of units in the Minnesota Air National Guard.

Best graduated from Metropolitan State University in 1988 with a bachelor of arts  emphasizing human resource management. Her post-graduate education includes a master of business administration from the University of St. Thomas, as well as advanced education in leadership, public affairs and military operations. She is a graduate of the Air Command and Staff College, and Air War College. She was a Policy Fellow at the University of Minnesota’s Humphrey School of Public Affairs.

Originally from Northeast Minneapolis, Best joined the 133rd Airlift Wing, Minnesota Air National Guard in 1984, as a personnel specialist and progressed through the enlisted ranks to technical sergeant. She was commissioned in 1991 through the Academy of Military Science at McGhee Tyson Air National Guard Base, Tennessee. Best has deployed in support of Operation Enduring Freedom in 2008.

In 2015, she attended the Harvard University, John F. Kennedy School of Government, Leadership in Homeland Security Program. Her career includes both public sector and military service. She serves as the director of Strategic Relations and Mission Support Group commander with the Minnesota National Guard. She will continue to promote the benefits of lifelong learning and specifically the unique nontraditional environment geared for diverse working adults at Metropolitan State. Best and her husband of 27 years have four daughters and reside in rural Wisconsin. In her free time, she enjoys socializing with family and friends in the St. Croix River Valley.

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