Nonoko Sato

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Executive Director

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Nonoko Sato

Nonoko Sato is the executive director for the Minnesota Council of Nonprofits (MCN), the largest state association for nonprofits in the United States. She oversees MCN’s strategic response to organizational and sector challenges through public policy and advocacy, responsive and educational programming, and sector-wide research.

Nonoko serves or has served in a variety of advisory, board, and trustee roles, including Governor Walz’s Council on Economic Expansion, Equity Diversity Impact Assessment Committee of the Minneapolis Public Schools, Coalition of Asian American Leaders, Theater Mu, Carleton College, among others. She previously served as MCN’s associate director, overseeing internal operations, programming, finance, and administration, as well as launching BenefitsMN, an association health plan for nonprofit organizations that strives to increase the vitality of Minnesota nonprofits through access to affordable and sustainable healthcare.

Prior to these roles, Nonoko served as the executive director of SMART, an organization in San Francisco that champions educational equity by supporting students in overcoming systemic barriers on their journey to a college degree. Under her leadership, the organization tripled the number of students and expanded its services through high school. In all her roles, Nonoko is a relentless advocate for racial equity and justice, dedicated to enhancing and improving cultural humility, intentionally creating inclusive and accessible spaces, and working to end disparities in power, money, access, and resources. Originally from Tokyo and Chicago, Nonoko graduated from Carleton College as a first-generation college student. She currently lives in Minneapolis with her family.