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Kathleen Annette, M.D.

November 9, 2020


Dr. Kathleen Annette is a program advisor for the boards of Margaret A. Cargill Foundation and Anne Ray Foundation, both of which operate under the umbrella of Margaret A. Cargill Philanthropies.

Kathy served as president and CEO of Blandin Foundation for 9 years, retiring in 2020.

She grew up on the Red Lake Indian Reservation and is enrolled with White Earth Band of Ojibwe. A graduate of University of Minnesota, Kathy received both her medical and undergraduate degrees. She is the first woman in the Minnesota Ojibwe Nation to become a physician.

Acting as deputy director of field operations of Indian Health Service, based in Bemidji, Kathy had responsibility for supervision and leadership of Area Directors across the United States, including 48 hospitals, 238 health clinics serving 1.9 million American Indian patients, and 15,000 federal employees. She retired from federal service after 26 distinguished years.

Kathy’s many honors include the national American Indian Physician of the Year award, Quality of Place Award issued by Northwest Minnesota Foundation, and the Jake White Crow National Award, presented by the National Indian Health Board—the only federal employee to be so recognized. She was inducted into the Northwest Minnesota Women’s Hall of Fame at Bemidji State University in 2006 and into the Academy of Science and Engineering at the University of Minnesota, Duluth in 2005 (the first woman so honored).

One of the major events of her career was serving as the onsite coordinator and leader in the response to the Red Lake High School shootings in 2005. A representative of the federal Department of Health and Human Services, Kathy assisted the community in the aftermath of this tragedy both immediately and long-term. For her service, the Red Lake Ojibwe Nation bestowed honorary membership—an honor received by only three individuals.