Director of Learning and Development
Marilou Chanrasmi’s heart-centered approach to life is guided by the belief that meaningful innovation and sustaining transformation requires a deep understanding of ourselves, and the communities around us. By day, she is the director of learning and development at phData, a technology company offering end-to-end services for machine learning and data analytics. Previously, she was a senior project manager in the Global Academic Program team at SAS, the world’s largest privately held software company.
Chanrasmi is, and has been, very active in volunteering her time to animal welfare and her work with tribal communities in Minnesota. In 2008, she was invited to Red Lake by the elder who started a non-profit shelter providing refuge and care for the animals at Red Lake Nation in northern Minnesota. It was on this trip that Chanrasmi’s journey and passion to advocate for indigenous communities was born. She began experiencing the inherent wisdom and beauty of the language and culture of the Anishinaabe people. Her work expanded to neighboring indigenous nations and communities of Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe, Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe, and Little Earth of United Tribes, which included collaborating with the University of Minnesota College of Veterinary Medicine SIRVS (Student Initiative for Reservation Veterinary Services) and serving as a tribal liaison. Their work now focuses on providing much needed veterinary care to pets of community members on tribal nations, creating and developing programs to inspire and support native youth interested in exploring careers in veterinary medicine and science, and partnering with community leaders on tribal nations to create self-determined and self-sustained programs to support the awesiinyag (animals) of their nations.
Chanrasmi is actively involved with the Coalition for Asian American Leaders (CAAL), and has been a co-guide in the CAAL MOVEE (Making Our Voices Effective for Equity) Summer Leadership Program since 2018. “The MOVEE Summer Intensive offers leaders intentional space for deep self-reflection, growing each leader’s roots, as well as strengthening each leader’s eco-system as they work for justice, equity and prosperity.” (source: CAAL website).
Chanrasmi is also a founding member of the Deep Listening for Social Change project. Deep Listening for Social Change (DLSC) is a peaceful action that members of the Twin Cities BIPOC mindfulness community initiated in response to the murder of George Floyd. DLSC envisions a process for listening, led by a coalition of multicultural, multi-gender, multi-generational skilled facilitators that will amplify and empower marginalized voices. A deep listening approach will be used to support self-reflection, encourage individual and collective healing, and build interconnection, resilience and care. DLSC will leverage resources and ancestral wisdom to organize, articulate and act upon common goals that lead to social change. DLSC follows an iterative and phased process grounded in trust, connection, relationship building and cultural sensitivity. In this multi-year program, participants learn to facilitate listening circles in their respective communities in the Twin Cities. The first cohort began in November, 2020.
Chanrasmi was born and raised in Thailand and is Thai/Filipinx. She came to the U.S. when she was 15 years old. She shares her home with her partner and their three reservation dogs: Legacy, Ishkode and Migizi. She has a daily meditation, writing and centering practice. She has a B.A. in Psychology from Washington University in St. Louis, a Masters in Information Systems from University of Missouri – St. Louis, and is a certified somatics coach through Strozzi Institute.
Chanrasmi is committed to holding a vision of a just world where all beings are treated with honor, equity, respect and dignity. In her free time, you will find her hiking with her pups, playing taiko (drumming) and studying ojibwemowin (the language of the Anishinaabe people).