Director, Ramsey County Social Services
Michelle Basham’s experience includes more than 30 years of leadership in the nonprofit and public sectors, including starting, leading, and turning around multiple nonprofit and public policy initiatives.
She holds an undergraduate degree in communications/ organizational development, a graduate degree in public administration/business and a law degree. Michelle also completed a fellowship at the Humphrey Institute Public Policy Forum where she did her group work on women and people of color in political leadership.
At the age of 19, she founded “Avenues for Homeless Youth” which in 1993, was the first shelter for homeless youth in Minneapolis. The organization is still in existence today.
Throughout her career, she has been a tireless advocate for youth experiencing homelessness and sexual exploitation, child welfare, women’s rights, LGBTQ+ rights, and eliminating racism.
Michelle has held leadership positions at organizations including: Avenues for Homeless Youth, FamilyWise, CommonBond Communities, YWCA of Delaware, YWCA Minneapolis, the Bridge for Youth, the Minnesota Department of Human Services and the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development- Vocational Rehabilitation Services.
Michelle currently serves as the Director for Ramsey County (Minn.) Social Services where she leads Ramsey County’s largest department, which includes adult services and children & family services.
Seminar: Homeless Youth