Densford Directorate

Shirley A. Brekken, MS, RN, FAAN

Brekken, a nationally recognized accomplished leader in nursing regulation, served as the chief executive officer for the Minnesota Board of Nursing 1999-2021. She has engaged in patient safety initiatives leadership at the state and national level. Prior to her employment with the Board, Brekken was a member and president of the Board of Nursing.  She has diverse clinical and administrative experience, including, nursing education, educational administration and public health, school and hospital staff nursing. Brekken has a proven commitment to quality improvement, transparency and developing a culture of justice, learning and accountability in regulation.  She has been actively involved with the National Council of State Boards of Nursing (NCSBN) as a member of the Board of Directors, serving as vice-president and president. She had a leadership role in numerous NCSBN innovative initiatives, including computer adaptive testing and Next Generation NCLEX®, and Nursys (national nurse licensure data base.)  She is an inaugural and current member of the editorial advisory board of the Journal of Nursing Regulation.  Brekken has made numerous presentations at the national and international level on excellence in nursing regulation.  She has a Bachelor of Science in Nursing and a Master of Science in Adult Health Nursing with a focus in educational administration.

Siobhan McMahon PhD, MPH, GNP-BC

McMahon is an associate professor at the University of Minnesota School of Nursing. Her interests, inspired by her practice as a gerontological nurse practitioner, focus on promoting health and wellness across diverse older adult populations with fall risk. She leads and participates in interdisciplinary research to develop and test community-based fall prevention interventions. Her current project assesses psychosocial components within physical activity interventions to identify effective behavior change strategies practitioners can pair with evidence-based exercises/ exercise protocols. Her long-term goals are to help people integrate fall-reducing physical activities (e.g., balance and leg-strengthening exercises) into their everyday lives through increased motivation, practice, and support from communities and social connections. Her work has been funded by agencies and organizations, including the National Institute of Nursing Research. From 2014-2017, she received support through the University of Minnesota's Clinical and Translational Science Award-funded KL2 Scholars Career Development Program.

Vincent Peters, MASW

Peters joined the University of Minnesota School of Nursing in September 2021 as the inaugural director of community engagement and a member of the Directorate of the Densford Center with a vibrant mission to link broader community connections across the nation and the globe on behalf of the School of Nursing. Vincent Peters immigrated to the US from India in 1987 and has served as faculty of Social Work and Organizational Leadership for a combined period of 32 years at Augsburg University, St. Olaf College, Concordia University, and Bethel University. Vincent served as Assistant Provost for the office of Off-Campus Programs and International Studies at Bethel University for 20 years pioneering various initiatives to foster students' active engagement in local communities through Academic Service-Learning, vibrant campus-urban community partnership, and robust study abroad opportunities. Vincent is a global citizen who has traveled to more than 78 countries and interacted with many cultures as a teacher, consultant, speaker, cultural ambassador, US State Department delegate, and human rights activist. Vincent has a graduate degree in Social Work, a conferred Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters from the Academy of Ecumenical Indian Theology and Church Administration in 2003, and Sister Pat Kowalski Leadership Award for Community Partnership in 2006. 

Teddie M. Potter, PhD, RN, FAAN, FNAP

Potter, a Clinical Professor, University of Minnesota School of Nursing, serves as Specialty coordinator of the Doctor of Nursing Practice in Health Innovation and Leadership, is the inaugural Director of Planetary Health for the School of Nursing, and holds the Pauline A. Vincent Chair of Public Health. Potter has shown a long-term commitment to systems thinking and innovative solutions. She is deeply committed to global partnerships and creating a viable planet for future generations. Her current positions in the School of Nursing at the University of Minnesota are a natural extension of her interests and passions. She co-founded and is the current Executive Editor of the Interdisciplinary Journal of Partnership Studies (IJPS). The journal’s mission is to share scholarship and create connections for cultural transformation to build a world in which all relationships, institutions, policies, and organizations are based on principles of partnership.  Potter, unwaveringly committed to climate change education including co-founding Health Professionals for a Healthy Climate, holds membership in the Alliance of Nurses for Healthy Environments, and the American Academy of Nursing Environment and Public Health Expert Panel. She is a member of the Coordinating Committee of Columbia University’s Global Consortium on Climate and Health Education and a Fellow in the Institute on the Environment at the University of Minnesota. She chairs Clinicians for Planetary Health (C4PH) and is a member of the Steering Committee of the Planetary Health Alliance at Harvard. 

Holly K. Shaw, PhD, RN

Shaw is a professor, clinician, consultant, and advocate for global health and healing.  She is a graduate of the Harvard Medical School Master Class in Global Health and the Masters’ Certificate Program in Global Mental Health, Trauma and Recovery, PhD and MSN, Adelphi University and BSN at Boston University, SON. She is President of the US Board of Directors of the Akshar Foundation, an innovative world-changing educational system in Assam, India. Her work within the UN System, representing the International Council of Nurses (ICN) includes Civil Society leadership in appointed and elected positions in UN DGC and ECOSOC (Department of Global Communication and the Economic and Social Council). A former Director of the Global Executive Committee and member of Substantive Committees, Dr. Shaw is a thought leader on the Steering Committee, Working Group on Education for Global Citizenship, an innovation collaboration of General Assembly Member States, ECOSOC and DGC.  Dr. Shaw currently serves as Chair, NGO Committee on Mental Health, Inc. and Chair, NGO Committee on Education, Learning and Literacy (NGO CELL).  She is a frequent presenter at UN Civil Society Conferences and as a Moderator at DPI/DGC Briefings and programs, including the 2020 World Health Day event celebrating the work of nurses and midwives, reminding world leaders of the critical role they play in keeping the world and its population healthy.  She has developed yearly CSW (Commission on the Status of Women) Parallel Events and programs since 2008.  Shaw is the author of peer-reviewed journal articles and chapters focusing on the art and science of resilience and healing, global health and nursing, and collaborative, reciprocal mentorship.  She holds appointments at Long Island University, the Frances Payne Bolton School of Nursing at Case Western Reserve University, and the University of Minnesota School of Nursing. She enjoys a global clinical/consultation practice in Sea Cliff, NY centering on community, child, adolescent, and adult mental health and survivors of trauma, conflict, bereavement, and crisis.


Connie White Delaney, Ph.D., RN, FAAN, FACMI, FNAP

Delaney serves as Professor & Dean, School of Nursing, University of Minnesota, and is the Knowledge Generation Lead for the National Center for Interprofessional Practice and Education. She served as Associate Director of the Clinical Translational Science Institute –Biomedical Informatics, and Acting Director of the Institute for Health Informatics (IHI) in the Academic Health Center from 2010-2015.  She serves as an adjunct professor in the Faculty of Medicine and Faculty of Nursing at the University of Iceland, where she received the Doctor Scientiae Curationis Honoris Causa (Honorary Doctor of Philosophy in Nursing) in 2011.  Delaney was an inaugural appointee to the USA Health Information Technology Policy Committee, Office of the National Coordinator, and Office of the Secretary for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). She is an active researcher in data and information technology standards for nursing and health care. She is past-president of FNINR and past Vice-Chair of CGFNS, Inc. She holds a BSN with majors in nursing and mathematics, MA in Nursing, Ph.D. Educational Administration and Computer Applications, postdoctoral study in nursing & medical informatics, and graduate study in integrative health & healing.