Former National Municipal League Chairman James Hetland passed away in late May. He served as NCL board chair from 1981-1985, playing an important leadership role during a transitional period for the league’s mission and programs.

A lifelong civic activist in the Twin Cities of Minnesota, Mr. Hetland worked in a private law practice, was a professor of law at the University of Minnesota Law School, an adjunct professor at the William Mitchell School of Law, and was on the faculty of the University's Humphrey Institute and Business School.

James Hetland was a founding Chair of the Metropolitan Council in the Twin Cities. From 1971 to 1990, he served as senior vice president and general counsel of the First Bank System, where he created a "social audit" to showcase the bank's annual responses to 10 critical urban problems.

Walter McClure, chairman of the Center for Policy Studies, described him as a “a giant among those advancing the wellbeing of Minnesota and the Twin Cities.”

You can read his Pioneer Press obituary here.