Partner Profile: Nate Garvis

An Unbeatable Combination

“The greatest strength of the MCW Partnership is the dynamic make-up of the Partners. The people around the table represent such an extraordinary cross-section of backgrounds and expertise, and combine to form an unprecedented governance structure that utilizes diverse talents and experiences to great effect. From the grassroots contributions, to the public officials, to the private leadership, the Partnership represents all the components necessary to move projects on all levels.”

“I have a special interest in public-private partnerships and MCW is one of the most successful and productive partnerships of which I am a member. Serving as a member of this partnership, I have gained an even greater appreciation for the strength and value of the contributions of all the Partners. I feel very confident about the work that is being done and incredibly optimistic about the results and value that work will produce in the future.

A New Face for an Historic Place

“One of the most rewarding benefits of being involved in the Partnership is the opportunity to restore and beautify one of Minneapolis’ greatest historical places. The Midtown Greenway is a rare and beautiful asset running right through the middle of a metropolitan area, surrounded by some of the most diverse people and neighborhoods in Minneapolis. It creates a connection of people and places like no other place in the city.”

“I am especially proud of the work of the Bridges Initiative. The emphasis on the role of public art central to the design process assures aesthetic beauty will be combined with functional value, but also presents the opportunity for the bridges to be creatively reflective of the people and history of the neighborhoods they connect, figuratively and literally. At their completion, this series of artfully designed bridges will transform the Greenway, uniquely defining and separating it from any other city in the United States. I truly believe we have the opportunity to create something of an international iconic stature”

“I’m proud to represent Target because of their great dedication to the community. I am also a longtime East Isles resident so I have a personal appreciation for, and commitment to, the Greenway. I feel great about all the work that has already been accomplished, and the role that Target and I have had the opportunity to play. I look forward to the day when I can bike with my grandchildren from Lake Calhoun to the Mississippi River and I’ll know that I helped to make that happen.”


Nathan Keller Garvis began his career in Public Affairs while earning his Juris Doctor at the University of Oregon, and serving as an aid to the House Majority Leader of the Oregon House of Representatives. Upon receiving his law degree, he returned to Minnesota and served as the Director for Government Affairs and Legal Counsel for the Minnesota Retail Merchants Association for two years before joining Target Corporation (formerly Dayton Hudson Corporation) in 1993. As Vice President of Government Affairs, Garvis is responsible for Federal and State level legislative and regulatory affairs for one of the largest retail companies in the United States. He is also responsible for Target Corp's Political Affairs, serving as treasurer for the corporation's four political action funds.

Garvis is a member of the Board of Director's Executive Committees of the Public Affairs Council, the Minnesota Chamber of Commerce, the Minnesota Retailers Association, the Minnesota Film Board, the Illinois Retail Merchants Association and the California Business Property Owners Association. He is also the Chair of the Board of Directors for the Jefferson Center for New Democratic Process. 

Garvis is a former fellow at the University of Minnesota Hubert H. Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs and currently serves as Chairman of the Policy Forum's Advisory Board. 


B.A., History, University of Minnesota, 1985

J.D., University of Oregon, 1990