CEO Emeritus

Kathryn Roberts, Ecumen CEO Emeritus, leads the company’s Philanthropy Department. Kathryn became CEO Emeritus of Ecumen in 2019 after serving as President and CEO since 2003 and transforming Ecumen into one of the country’s leading nonprofit providers of diversified senior housing and services. As CEO, Kathryn has become a pivotal international thought leader on aging, rising to the role of Chair of the National Board of Directors of LeadingAge in 2016 and being named one of the 2017 Top 50 “Influencers in Aging” by Next Avenue. As CEO Emeritus, Kathryn leads Ecumen Philanthropy and continues her work to create a more age-friendly world as she supports the CEO transition. In early 2018, she informed the board of her decision to step away from day-to-day leadership and work part-time, focusing on specific areas of the business. In her 16 years as CEO, Ecumen has become known for innovation, bringing new empowering technologies to seniors and their families; developing a nationally acclaimed program in dementia care; expanding housing options to new markets and creating a national senior housing development business; and shaping a workplace culture that has led to Ecumen being named 10 times as one of the “Best Places to Work” by the Minneapolis-St. Paul Business Journal and has also been named one of Minnesota’s Top Workplaces by the Minneapolis Star Tribune and Minnesota Monthly Magazine. Kathryn has a broad and distinguished career in public service and leadership. She’s one of the few people to be appointed to leadership positions by a Democrat, Republican and Independent Governor. She became the country’s first woman to lead a major zoo at age 34. As chairwoman of Minnesota’s professional sports agency, the Metropolitan Sports Facilities Commission, Kathryn led efforts to sue Major League Baseball and successfully stopped contraction of the Minnesota Twins. Kathryn currently serves on the boards of LeadingAge in Washington, D.C., and VocalEssence in Minneapolis. Kathryn earned her B.A. in Psychology from the University of Minnesota, her M.S. in Special Education from Mankato State University and her Ph.D. in Educational Administration from the University of Minnesota.