CEO of the Metropolitan Economic Development Association and “First Gentleman” of Minneapolis
Gary Cunningham, Metropolitan State’s 2014 Alumnus of the Year, is the president and CEO of the Metropolitan Economic Development Association, which supports entrepreneurs of color. For the past five years, Cunningham has been a member of the Metropolitan Council, appointed by Gov. Mark Dayton, to lead the council’s examination of equity in housing for minorities and the poor. He also serves as a trustee on the Metropolitan State University Foundation Board.
Cunningham’s past experience includes serving as a research fellow at the University of Minnesota’s Humphrey School of Public Affairs and the associate superintendent of Minneapolis Public Schools. Cunningham graduated in 1990 with a bachelor of arts. He proceeded to attend Harvard University in 1992, where he received a master’s in public administration.
His wife, Betsy Hodges, is mayor of Minneapolis, making him the city’s first gentleman.