In 2016, Jodi and colleagues launched the Future Services Institute, an applied research and training focused on bringing Human Services into the 21st Century. She also is the founder and Academic Director of the Hubert Project, a global community focused on improving professional education and effectiveness through development and sharing of multimedia learning materials, such as e-cases, e-studies, and video briefs.
For five years, she was a Family Self-Sufficiency Scholar funded by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Planning, Research & Evaluation. In 2015, she was the co-chair of the Public Management Research Association conference, hosting scholars from around the world in Minneapolis. She also has worked as senior strategy consultant with the Bush Foundation and special assistant to the President of the University of Minnesota.
Originally from Menomonie, Wisconsin, Sandfort lives with
her husband, Steve Marchese, and sons in St. Paul, Minnesota, where she likes to cross-country ski, do pilates, and garden.
PROFESSIONAL COMMUNITIES THAT WORK WITH JODI INCLUDE:
~ Learners Committed to Reforming Public Systems
While people are the most important resource in the public and nonprofit organizations, often these agencies have limited time and financial resources to invest in building their leadership and capacity. Jodi addresses these challenges in two ways. First, she designs and runs executive development training programs and retreats through her affiliation with the Humphrey School's Public & Nonprofit Leadership Center. The flagship program is the Master's in Public Affairs which integrates leadership development with essential policy analytical skills. The Humphrey School also offers a graduate certificate in Human Services Leadership.
~ Nonprofit & philanthropic Leaders
Civil society is a unique aspect of democracy in the United States. While nonprofit organizations provide places for citizens to engage, they also are involved in public service provision. While private philanthropy provides valuable investment in innovative programs, it also plays an essential role in public systems change. This can sometimes create confusion in the field, when nonprofits or foundations are developing their strategy. Jodi's work helps people to understand both the current situation and the potential for change. She helps nonprofit leaders see the bigger picture that is often obscured in day-to-day operations, and provides philanthropic leaders with an understanding of the structures of public policy and systems that inevitably shape their work. For more information, consult her paper on Strategic philanthropy and short video on Policy Field Analysis.
~ Policy Makers & Program Evaluators
Policy makers and program administrators turn to applied research and program evaluation to help them make decisions about strategy and investment. While evidence-informed practice is desirable, Jodi stresses that rarely is it sufficient. Rigorous analysis must be combined with relevant engagement of program managers, staff, and participants if the ideas are to lead to improvements. Effective implementation must become a core focus for program evaluators and policy makers if we are to make progress on the daunting collective challenges we face in the public arena. For more about this approach, see the work of the Future Service Institute.