Alumni Spotlight: Jordan Rasmusson (MN-2011) Pursuing Public Service as a Candidate for the Minnesota State Legislature

USSYP:  Tell us about your life after the Senate Youth Program’s Washington Week.

Jordan: I was a USSYP delegate from Minnesota in 2011. After graduating from Harvard in 2015, I started working in the Minneapolis office of McKinsey & Company, a management consultancy. I worked with clients on five continents while with McKinsey and learned a ton about business and leadership. I was then recruited to join Bain Capital’s private equity team as an investment professional. At Bain Capital, I focused primarily on investments in healthcare technology, but spent time looking at companies across a number of industries. I’m engaged to my high school sweetheart, and we decided to move back to our hometown of Fergus Falls, Minnesota. We have a big year ahead of us: we’re getting married, and I am running for the Minnesota House of Representatives.


USSYP: Could you describe a few highlights from your Washington Week 2011 (pictured left with the USSYP 2011 delegates)?

Jordan: Visiting CIA headquarters and meeting with the President at the White House were both very memorable experiences; however, connecting with fellow delegates was the best part of Washington Week. I still keep in-touch with a number of delegates on a regular basis and will have a few of them at my wedding this year.

USSYP: Returning to your hometown after Washington Week, what takeaways from the program made the deepest impression?

Jordan: My most valuable takeaway from Washington Week was a deep sense of gratitude for the American institutions that defend our rights and liberties: the military, intelligence agencies, a free press, and each branch of government. While I do not always agree with the actions pursued by these institutions, I am nevertheless grateful for those who serve our nation in various capacities and the genius of our constitutional system.

USSYP:  Describe how you have incorporated public service into your life after Washington Week and college?

Jordan:  Both my faith and a sense of patriotic duty direct me to serve in my community. I have been blessed to serve on the boards of the Otter Tail County Historical Society, Fergus Falls YMCA, and Boston Trinity Academy. I am a huge proponent of young people getting involved on non-profit boards/committees: you will support organizations that are doing good work in your community and learn valuable skills for the future, such as board governance, budgeting, and fundraising.

USSYP: What was your decision-making process in deciding to become a candidate for the Minnesota House?

Jordan: First, I was encouraged to run by our current State Representative. I wanted to serve in public office someday, but his encouragement made running for the Minnesota House in 2020 a real decision point. Second, I went on a fact-finding mission to make sure I understood the trade-offs of running for office vs. continuing to focus on my private sector career. I wanted to understand the impact I could have in the Legislature and the impact (both negative and positive) the decision would have on my future family. During my fact-finding phase, Robbie Lauf (ND – 2011) was extraordinarily helpful in thinking through the trade-offs and put me in-touch with a mentor of his to provide an additional perspective. In the end, the decision came down to discussions with my fiancée and lots of prayer. One Sunday at church, the hymn “How Firm a Foundation” was played. While singing the hymn, I felt at peace with the decision to run for office and went for it.

Jordan (far left) in Fergus Falls, MN at campaign event on February 21, 2020

USSYP: What issues are you looking forward to advocating for in the House?

Jordan: My legislative priorities will be efficient government that keeps taxes under control, affordable health care, a reduced regulatory burden for small businesses and farmers, schools of excellence, and support for pro-life and Second Amendment initiatives.

USSYP: Do you have advice for younger alumni starting out in college or early in their career?

Jordan: Read Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis. In general, I would encourage each USSYP delegate to spend real time evaluating his or her value system. The biggest deficit I see among the next generation of leaders (mine included) is a lack of core principles to guide life decisions, big and small. You can be the smartest, hardest working, most talented USSYP delegate in history, but what’s the point if you’re rowing in the wrong direction or with no direction at all? My guiding values are grounded in my faith, which is why I gave the C.S. Lewis recommendation. However, even if you aren’t interested in religion, Mere Christianity will force you to consider what values guide your life.

USSYP: What words of encouragement and inspiration have you been sharing in your community in light of current events?

Jordan: We celebrate stories of personal sacrifice for a reason. Challenging times, like what we’re experiencing with COVID-19, present opportunities to make personal sacrifices for others. Seize the opportunity to serve others and get in the habit of doing so. Also, wash your hands!

Jordan with fiancée Emma DeMartelaere, his parents, and sister Brianna