New Board of Advisors

Carlson School Adds Two New Members to Board of Advisors

Thursday, April 29, 2021

Two accomplished business leaders will bring a wealth of professional experience and expertise as new members of the University of Minnesota Carlson School of Managements Board of Advisors (BOA).

Smriti Canakapalli of Cargill and Heidi Capozzi of McDonald’s will join the board, starting with the October 2021 meeting. Capozzi is also a Carlson School alumnae, with a master's degree in human resources and industrial relations.

The Carlson School Board of Advisors includes more than 40 senior executives representing a variety of companies and organizations across the globe. Together, they work closely with the Carlson Schools dean and leadership team to ensure a highly-engaged relationship with local and national businesses while providing valued assistance in seeking support from individuals and the corporate community.


Smriti Canakapalli, enterprise strategy and transformation leader, Cargill Animal Nutrition & Health

Smriti Canakapalli

Canakapalli supports Cargill’s animal nutrition and health areas, which has 20,000 employees at 280 locations in 40 countries, partnering with feed mill operators and retailers, as well as farmers, worldwide to produce nearly 18 million metric tons of feed per year. She joined Cargill in 2016 in the Corporate Strategy and Development department, where she supported enterprises and groups on strategy development. She also worked on several cross-enterprise and corporate-wide strategy efforts. Prior to joining Cargill, Canakapalli was an engagement manager with Bain & Company, where she served clients in the areas of strategy, performance improvement, and organization redesign. She began her career with Dow Chemical, where she held progressive roles in engineering and operations. Canakapalli holds a bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering from the University of Texas at Austin, a master’s degree in engineering management from Northwestern University, and an MBA from the Kellogg School of Management. She lives in the Minneapolis area with her husband, Dhiraj, and daughter, Anika. In her free time, Canakapalli enjoys travel and exploring new cultures and cuisines.

Heidi Capozzi, executive vice president and global chief people officer, McDonald's

Heidi Capozzi

In her current role, Capozzi leads People Strategy and Data/Analytics; Center HR; People Operations and Experience; Security & Intelligence; Talent; Total Rewards; Diversity, Equity and Inclusion; and Learning and Development. Prior to McDonald’s, Heidi successfully led a number of organizations through transformation and growth, from large organizations to small.  She carries a deep functional expertise that has guided her in solving difficult and important business challenges and has a long-standing reputation for being focused on solutions. Most recently before joining McDonald’s, Heidi served as senior vice president of human resources for the Boeing Company, where she led initiatives for 160,000 employees across a $76 billion global enterprise. At Boeing, Heidi oversaw Boeing’s Leadership and Learning, Talent Planning, Employee and Labor Relations, Total Rewards and Diversity and Inclusion initiatives. Under her guidance, Boeing reimagined their HR model and transformed talent development. Heidi holds a bachelor's degree from Oberlin College in political science and East Asian studies and earned a master's degree in human resources and industrial relations from the Carlson School of Management.


About the Board of Advisors

The overarching purpose of the Board of Advisors is to advance the mission of the Carlson School of Management by: 1) advising the dean on strategic issues and operational matters, as appropriate; 2) providing input and support to the students and faculty as agreed with the dean; and 3) assisting in promoting the school to its numerous constituents. The Board does not have fiduciary responsibilities. Formerly known as the Board of Overseers, it was renamed effective December 9, 2020.