Valeng David Cha (‘95) (he/him/his) is the Director of Government, Foundation, and Corporate Relations, leading external funding strategies and partnerships that support all areas of the College, including student services, scholarships, teaching and learning, co-curricular activities, scholarly research, artistic activity, and professional development. Cha is responsible for institutional grants on behalf of St. Olaf, as well as overall grant strategy and administration. Cha also serves on St. Olaf’s Presidential Search Committee, responsible for selecting the college’s next president - its 12th.
Cha received his BA from St. Olaf in 1995 (first-gen, low-income) and did his master’s program in Nonprofit Management at Hamline University. Cha brings deep commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion, and has served in various capacities both in his personal life, as a community activist on anti-racism and refugee/immigrant issues, as well as professionally, on DEI-related task forces and committees and framing the College’s external grant seeking efforts based on core principles.
Prior to St. Olaf and over the last two decades, Cha was employed at various health and human services nonprofits in the Twin Cities metropolitan area, serving in executive, programmatic, and fundraising roles. Most recently, he was the Associate Vice President for Institutional Giving at the YMCA of the North, the third largest Y association in the country. Previously, Cha headed a number of nonprofits that addressed core community needs in food security, affordable/supportive housing, the achievement/opportunity gap, health disparities, and economic development - particularly BIPOC/communities of color in North Minneapolis, South Minneapolis, Rondo/Frogtown, and East St. Paul. A lifelong resident of the Twin Cities, Cha has significant experience partnering with external organizations, including government and elected officials, nonprofit leaders, foundations, corporations, and lay members of the community.
A member of the Hmong community, Cha lives on the Eastside of St. Paul with his family and 3 adorable pups!