Former Minneapolis mayor and education advocate R.T. Rybak to present Carleton College’s Opening Convocation Address.

R.T. Rybak

Former Minneapolis mayor R.T. Rybak will be the featured speaker at Carleton College’s annual all-college assembly celebrating the beginning of the 2014-15 academic year. Opening Convocation will be held Monday, September 15 at 3 p.m. in the Skinner Memorial Chapel, and will be preceded by the College’s traditional Academic Procession, including all current and emeriti faculty. This event is free and open to the public. Convocation will also be streamed live and can be viewed online at

A three-term mayor of Minneapolis from 2002 to 2013, Raymond Thomas “R.T.” Rybak, Jr. is currently head of Generation Next (, a partnership of education, community, government and business leaders aimed at closing the achievement gap between white and minority students.

During his tenure as mayor, Rybak led efforts to make Minneapolis a national leader in innovative, cradle-to-career approaches to youth development, and worked to highlight the crisis of our region’s achievement gap and advance effective strategies for ending it. As mayor, Rybak founded the Minneapolis Promise, an innovative cluster of coordinated efforts to get students college- and career-ready and put them on the path to success.

Rybak has been recognized as a national “Afterschool Champion” by the Afterschool Alliance (—not only for his leadership of the Minneapolis Promise, but for founding the Minneapolis Youth Violence Prevention Initiative, an innovative public-health approach that has dramatically lowered youth involvement in violent crime, for being a champion of the youth-led Minneapolis Youth Congress, and for his active involvement in Minneapolis’ Youth Coordinating Board.

A Minneapolis native, Rybak graduated from Breck School in 1974 and from Boston College in 1978. In the 1970s and ‘80s he worked as a journalist for the Minneapolis Tribune, then went on to run the Twin Cities Reader. For a few years he headed Internet Broadcasting Systems, which started as an online division of Minneapolis Television station and CBS-affiliate WCCO and runs websites for many stations across the United States. Following his job there, Rybak was an Internet strategy consultant, and assisted on projects with Minnesota Public Radio and Public Radio International.

Rybak also serves on the board of directors of Nice Ride Minnesota (, a public bicycle sharing program.

He and his wife Megan O’Hara, a communications consultant and local-food advocate, have two grown children.

For more information about this event, including disability accommodations, contact the Carleton College Office of College Communications at (507) 222-4308. The Skinner Memorial Chapel is located on First Street between College and Winona Streets in Northfield.