University of Minnesota
University of Minnesota
Brian Photo

Assistant Director

Brian Bell | Assistant Director

Brian is passionate about impact entrepreneurship, incubation, and investing. As Assistant Director of Acara at the University of Minnesota, Brian facilitates venture start ups seeking to turn a profit while addressing societal and environmental challenges in the US and emerging economies. He is also Network Coordinator with IMNPACT Angels and a Shaper with the Minneapolis Hub of Global Shapers. Brian has an interdisciplinary background in engineering, design, international development, and entrepreneurship with diverse experiences in the U.S., the Netherlands, Uganda, Kenya, Haiti, Nepal, and India. He has been involved most recently with Kounkuey Design Initiative, Envest Microfinance, the Government of India, UN-HABITAT, St. Anthony Falls Lab, Engineers Without Borders-USA, and Inspec. Brian has a bachelor’s in civil-environmental engineering from the University of Minnesota, master’s in sustainable development from Utrecht University, and is an alum of the Frontier Market Scouts Program in Impact Investing and Social Enterprise Management and the Carlson School’s Part-Time MBA Professional Development Program.

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Portrait: Fred Rose

(612) 624-2143

Fred Rose | Co-Director

Fred Rose is the co-founder and the driving force behind Acara, along with Julian Marshall. Fred has over 25 years of technology and business development experience, most recently as Director of Technology Strategy, Honeywell where he was responsible for strategy and development programs in India, US and China. He is also the co-founder of another non-profit, High Tech Kids. Fred has many years experience in a wide range of technology R&D, emerging markets and global development teams.

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Portrait: Julian Marshall

(612) 625-2397

Julian Marshall | Co-Director

Julian Marshall is an Associate Professor of Environmental Engineering in the Department of Civil Engineering at University of Minnesota. Marshall currently holds a McKnight Land-Grant Professorship. He is a Resident Fellow of the Institute on the Environment, and in 2009 won the Minnesota Young Civil Engineer of the Year award. Julian received his undergraduate degree in Chemical Engineering from Princeton University, and his Masters and PhD from the Energy and Resources Group at University of California Berkeley.

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Portrait: Aruna Raman

India Coordinator

Aruna Raman | India Coordinator

Aruna has 15 years of experience with social innovation, program management, coordination, capacity building, incubation, cross-cultural linkages, print and online journalism, marketing and corporate communications, and technical documentation, both in India and USA. She earned a Masters in International Development from the Graduate School of Public and International Affairs at the University of Pittsburgh, and spent five years in the Southwestern Pennsylvania region working with nonprofits focused on diaspora relations, cross-cultural competency, and economic development. Aruna recently obtained the Frontier Market Scouts Certificate, an intensive two-week program for social enterprise and impact professionals.


Portrait: Talayeh Motameni

Program Associate

Talayeh Motameni | Program Associate

Talayeh Motameni joined the Acara team as a program associate in Fall 2015. Currently finishing her undergraduate degree, Talayeh is majoring in strategic communications and minoring in business management. Talayeh has held four internships that have prepared her for her position at Acara. She hopes to utilize these experiences to help Acara by promoting the organization’s mission and presence within the University and through digital channels and other forms of communication.


image1 Megan Headshot

Consultant: Partnership Development


Megan Voorhees | Consultant: Partnership Development

Megan is an educator, consultant, trainer and life coach. Working at the crossroads of experiential education, community engagement and social transformation for more than 25 years, she mentors community leaders and social change agents. Until recently, she was the Director of the Public Service Center at the University of California, Berkeley. In addition to working with Acara to expand its partnerships and work with students, she currently is adjunct faculty at St. Catherine University, and consulting with other colleges, Universities and non-profits to support their work with engaging students in addressing pressing social issues.
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Acara is the impact entrepreneurship program of the University of Minnesota Institute on the Environment in partnership with the College of Science and Engineering and the Carlson School of Management.