FBI Minneapolis
Public Affairs Specialist Diana Freedman
Desk: 763-569-8095 | Mobile: 202-738-3285 | dfreedman@fbi.gov
May 8, 2023

FBI Minneapolis Presents 2022 Director’s Community Leadership Award to Dr. Kenneth Snell

On Friday, May 5, 2023, FBI Director Christopher Wray presented Dr. Kenneth Snell, a board-certified pathologist at Sanford Hospital and Minnehaha County Medical Examiner, with the FBI Director’s Community Leadership Award (DCLA) for his service to the people of South Dakota.

The award was established in 1990 to honor individuals and organizations for their efforts in engaging the community in the areas of education and crime prevention. During the May 5 ceremony, Director Wray told the recipients: “Like the 38,000 employees of the FBI, you don’t do what you do for fame—and certainly not for fortune. You do it out of kindness, out of compassion for others, out of a hope and a dream for safer communities ... to leave your towns and cities better places than when you got there. And that’s how I’ve defined success here within our organization, too. Success to me is if everyone leaves the FBI a better place than they found it.”

Dr. Snell is recognized for his work that bridges the gap between law enforcement and community members, ultimately ensuring criminal justice for unnatural deaths in South Dakota. Through his role as the Minnehaha County Medical Examiner, Dr. Snell supports criminal investigations for all Indian Country deaths across the state. His knowledge and experience foster trust and collaboration with tribal communities and brings cultural sensitivity to each case.

He is also a passionate teacher who invests countless hours sharing his expertise and guidance with professionals and students, alike. Notably, Dr. Snell volunteers his time to educate high school and vocational students through the South Dakota HOSA – Future Health Professionals organization where he supports science-focused career development in communities that would not otherwise have exposure to this work.

“The most effective weapon against crime is a collaboration between law enforcement, the private sector, academia, and the community,” said Special Agent in Charge Alvin Winston of the FBI Minneapolis Field Office. “When law enforcement agencies and the public collaborate, they can reduce crime and create safer communities with tremendous success.”

Dr. Snell’s dedication, experience, and compassion have led to trust and strong partnerships within the community. These partnerships are key to keeping our shared communities safe.