Our Team

Kelven Kai staff pic He, Him, His

Kelven Kai Manuel, Capitol Pathways intern

Kelven Kai is currently a junior at Concordia College in Moorhead. He is a double major in Business with Economics and Global Studies and a concentration in Development Studies. Kelven is passionate about international politics and how to achieve sustainable development within distinct societies. His goal is to actively work on policies that create positive economic change for low-income communities and underdeveloped countries. 
At Concordia, Kelven is involved in many extracurricular activities and organizations with an international focus such as the Concordia African Student Association (C.A.S.A) and International Student Organization. Soon, Kelven aims to develop skills in communication, strategic thinking, foreign policy, and learn to make impact through strategic economic policies. 

Sabrina staff pic
She, Her, Hers

Sabrina Leung, engagement and content manager

Sabrina will develop, implement, and coordinate digital communications, civic engagement, and partner engagement strategies and tactics to support our mission to advance our policy priorities in areas such as taxes, affordable health care, and affordable child care.

Sabrina brings more than a decade of nonprofit experience into her role as the Engagement and Content Manager. Her past professional experience includes serving as a marketing and communications manager to advance health equity for Minnesotans living with HIV.   

To unwind, Sabrina enjoys creating art, playing videogames, and spending time with her pup and cats.

Jessie Luevano Staff Pic
She, Her, Hers

Jessie Luévano, policy analyst

Jessie's policy work revolves largely around the topics of health care and child care. Within these topics, she works to influence and inform the policy debate through advocacy, partnerships, and creating data-driven analytical materials.  

Jessie has a BA in Political Science and Global studies from Hamline University. Some of her past professional experience includes working in research and social media for a St. Paul city council member, as well as within a nonprofit in immigration services, where she assisted individuals applying for U.S. citizenship.  

In her free time, she loves anything plant-related and is often taking care of her large houseplant collection. She also enjoys reading, crocheting, painting, and exploring everything the Twin Cities has to offer with her friends. 

nan photo
She, Her, Hers 

Nan Madden, director

Nan has been the director of the Minnesota Budget Project since 1999. Her work combines deep and technical expertise of Minnesota tax policy with a drive to ensure everyday Minnesotans have a voice in the policy decisions being made at the Capitol.

The Minnesota Budget Project has contributed to significant policy achievements under her leadership, including the passage in 2013 of nation-leading tax reform that made Minnesota’s tax system more equitable and funded new investments in education, affordable college tuition, and other opportunities for low- and moderate-income Minnesotans to reach economic security. Madden is a recognized expert in tax policy, and has helped secure substantial improvements in Minnesota’s state Earned Income Tax Credit and Renters’ Credit.

Nan has a B.A. from Macalester College in St. Paul, and an M.A. from the Josef Korbel School of International Studies at the University of Denver.


laura photo
She, Her, Hers 

Laura Mortenson, communications director

Laura manages media relations and communications that promote the research and advocacy efforts of the team. What Laura loves about her work is the intersection between communications and public policy. She’s energized by making policy solutions make sense to broader audiences, and then engaging Minnesotans in advocating for policies that directly improve their lives.

Her professional background includes serving as communications director for a St. Paul mayor and managing public and media relations for city organizations. Laura received a B.A. in journalism from the University of Wisconsin – Eau Claire.

When not communicating on policies that build broader prosperity, Laura enjoys the many outdoor activities Minnesota offers, like canoeing, hiking, and camping in our state parks.

Photo of woman Haleigh Sinclair against a light colored brick wall
She, Her, Hers 

Haleigh Sinclair, research analyst

Haleigh’s work focuses on the analysis of state tax policy. This research aims to increase economic opportunity for low- and moderate-income families, reduce racial disparities, and promote sound fiscal decision-making in Minnesota.

She has a degree in Psychology from Stevenson University in Maryland, and a Master's of Public Policy from American University in Washington, D.C. Haleigh’s past professional experience includes a research internship with the Commonwealth Institute for Fiscal Analysis, where she conducted research in the areas of education and criminal justice reform.

During her free time, Haleigh likes to scrapbook, play videogames, and walk with her dog. As a recent transplant to St. Paul, she also enjoys exploring all the exciting things to do in the Twin Cities.