Mr. Perry replaces Howard Bicker, who is retiring.
Mr. Perry is chief investment officer of the $600 million endowment fund of Macalester College, also in St. Paul. He joined the endowment in October 2012. Previously, he was CIO of the $40.6 billion Maryland State Retirement and Pension System, Baltimore.
Korn/Ferry International assisted in the search.
Mr. Perry was unanimously approved by the four-member board, chaired by Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton, at a meeting Wednesday.
Efforts to reach Mr. Perry by press time were unsuccessful.