MCC Staff

 JASON ADKINS, ESQ.
Executive Director

Jason Adkins has served as the executive director of the Minnesota Catholic Conference since March 2011. Prior to his advocacy work for the Church, Jason was an attorney at the Institute for Justice, a public interest law firm. Jason has clerked for both state and federal appellate judges, and received his law degree from the University of Minnesota Law School, where he has served as an adjunct professor.

Jason teaches at the St. Paul Seminary and writes a regular column that appears in diocesan newspapers around Minnesota. His writing has also appeared in numerous secular publications and journals, and he is a frequent guest on the radio and TV. He holds undergraduate and graduate degrees from the University of St. Thomas (Minnesota), and resides in St. Paul, Minnesota with his family.

Email: jadkins@mncatholic.org


SHAWN PETERSON
Associate Director for Public Policy

Shawn joined the Minnesota Catholic Conference in 2014 as Public Policy Director. Before coming to the MCC, he was president of his own government relations firm specializing in school choice and reform issues. Prior to client lobbying work, he spent seventeen years in state government serving in the administrations of Governors Tim Pawlenty and Mark Dayton, and as a senior staffer in the Minnesota Legislature.

Shawn holds a degree from Hamline University in International Relations and Russian Area Studies. He resides in Stillwater, Minnesota with his wife and three children.

Email: speterson@mncatholic.org


RACHEL HERBECK
Outreach and Policy Coordinator

A recent graduate from the University of St. Thomas, Rachel holds a B.A. in Catholic Studies. Prior to joining the MCC team, Rachel worked in real estate and also has experience with the Center for Family and Human Rights and The National Organization for Marriage.

Rachel’s true passion lies in evangelization and ministry. She has participated in a variety of Catholic endeavors, including Renewal Ministries, I.D. 916, and Be Love Revolution, an outreach to young women. Originally from Michigan, Rachel currently resides in Minneapolis.

Email: rherbeck@mncatholic.org


5MARY JANE STREIFF
Business Manager and Resource Coordinator

Originally from Southern California, Mary Jane has worked for several Catholic organizations, including Catholic Answers and Thomas Aquinas College (California). She holds a Business degree from the University of California, Riverside, and a Liberal Arts degree from Thomas Aquinas College. Mary Jane recently completed a graduate degree in Catholic Studies at the University of St. Thomas, and resides with her husband in Inver Grove Heights.

Email: mjstreiff@mncatholic.org


SARAH SPANGENBERG
Communications Associate

Sarah is a native of Duluth, Minnesota and a 2014 graduate of the University of St. Thomas, where she studied Economics and Catholic Studies. After college, she served as a full-time missionary with Saint Paul’s Outreach at The Ohio State University in Columbus. She currently lives in St. Paul, Minnesota, where she is also working towards a master’s degree in theology at the St. Paul Seminary School of Divinity.

Sarah’s love for theology is matched by a passion for teaching and proclamation; her great desire is to be a witness in the world so that the Catholic faith may be more fully understood (by Catholics and non-Catholics alike) and Jesus Christ may be more intimately known and loved.

Email: sspangenberg@mncatholic.org


KATHERINE CROSS
Communications Manager

Katherine returned home to Minnesota to join our staff in October 2017. Previously she lived in the Washington, D.C. area where she worked for EWTN News Nightly as a segment producer and St. Jerome’s Catholic Church in Hyattsville, MD as the Communications Specialist. She is currently working towards a master’s degree in Emerging Media.

Before living on the East Coast she lived in Trujillo, Honduras as a missionary with Farm of the Child, a Catholic children’s home. After earning her undergraduate degree in Mass Communications from Minnesota State University Moorhead, she worked as the morning newscast producer for KAAL-TV in Austin, MN. She is also the proud auntie of two nieces.

Email: kcross@mncatholic.org