First Nations Welcomes New Board Member Susan Jenkins, Ph.D.

Dr. Susan Jenkins (Choctaw) has been elected to the Board of Directors of First Nations Development Institute (First Nations) for a one-year term.

Jenkins lives in rural western North Carolina, where she moved to help the Eastern Band of the Cherokee Indians start the Cherokee Preservation Foundation.  For over 10 years, she served as executive director of the foundation. Currently, she serves on the Native Arts and Culture Foundation Board of Trustees, Community Foundation of Western North Carolina Board of Directors, Western Carolina University’s Foundation Board of Directors, Lake Junaluska Assembly Board of Trustees, WCU College of Business Advisory Council and several other local nonprofit boards and committees.

Jenkins has worked in communities of color in the State of Georgia, the Southeast and in the West Africa countries of Mali and Burkino Faso. After 20 years of community work, she served as program officer at the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, where she oversaw a multi-million-dollar portfolio focused on rural development, and served as senior program officer at the Hitachi Foundation before finishing her career as founding executive director of the Cherokee Preservation Foundation. An enrolled member of the Choctaw Nation, Jenkins holds a doctorate in sociology from the University of Georgia.

“We are delighted to have Susan join us on the board, and we know that her contribution of expertise, experience and guidance will be highly valued as First Nations continues to grow and expand its mission of helping build and revitalize Native American economies and communities,” said First Nations Board Chairman B. Thomas Vigil (Jicarilla Apache/Jemez Pueblo).

A full list of First Nations’ Board members can be found here: http://firstnations.org/about/board.