Estelle Brouwer named Executive Director of Women’s Advocates

Wednesday, July 12

Saint Paul, MN   July 12, 2017    Women’s Advocates, the first shelter in the nation for victims of domestic violence, is thrilled to announce that it has hired Estelle Brouwer, MPP, as its new Executive Director.   After a six-month search, Estelle was chosen to lead Women’s Advocates because of her collaborative and strategic leadership style.  Jill Johnson, Women’s Advocates’ Board Chair, said, “The Board of Directors was seeking a leader who would advance Women’s Advocates’ mission of eliminating violence in the lives of women, children and families. Estelle’s strengths in organizational and team leadership will surely strengthen the community’s response to women’s safety needs.”

Estelle’s lifelong commitment to women’s empowerment and social justice is demonstrated though her professional and personal accomplishments.  Through her work, she has increased children’s access to lifesaving health care, connected rural Minnesotans to health resources, and brought new approaches to children’s health care in the developing world.  Her volunteer activities include supporting girls’ education and empowerment in India.  Estelle has over 20 years of senior leadership experience in the nonprofit, health, higher education and public sectors with a focus on supporting underserved people and communities.  Estelle has served as a Vice President at Children’s Heartlink, Senior Vice President at Stratis Health, and Director of the Office of Rural Health and Primary Care at the Minnesota Department of Health.

Women’s Advocates, through Estelle’s leadership, will work towards the goals of its three-year strategic plan, which include expanding emergency shelter and housing assistance for victims of domestic violence, delivering services that reflect best practices in addressing domestic violence, and increasing community engagement and education.

Estelle shared that “a central theme of my professional life has been my passion for reaching diverse and underserved communities,” and Women’s Advocates is excited to combine this passion with her penchant for collaborative leadership to reduce violence, sustain the wellbeing of violence survivors, and increase awareness of safety resources.  Estelle earned her Master of Public Policy degree from the University of California, Berkeley and her Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from the University of Minnesota, Minneapolis.



About Women’s Advocates

Women’s Advocates’ mission is to eliminate violence in the lives of women, children, and families.  We envision a society free from violence where all individuals and families are safe and can live productive and healthy lives.  Located in Saint Paul in three connected Victorian homes, Women’s Advocates is a 50-bed emergency shelter for victims of domestic violence and their children.   Women’s Advocates provides wrap-around services to support sustained safety and wellbeing, as well as a 24/7 Crisis Line, and a community education program to prevent violence and increase awareness.  Find out more at

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