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Carrie Billy  

President & CEO of AIHEC

Carrie Billy, a member of the Navajo Nation and attorney from Arizona, is the President and CEO of the American Indian Higher Education Consortium (AIHEC). Through AIHEC, the nation’s 37 tribal colleges share a common vision: Strong Sovereign Nations Through Excellence in TRIBAL Higher Education.

Ms. Billy has undergraduate degrees from the University of Arizona and Salish Kootenai College (a tribal college) and she earned a Juris Doctorate from Georgetown University Law Center.

Ms. Billy was appointed by former President William J. Clinton as the inaugural Executive Director of the White House Initiative on Tribal Colleges, and she worked in the U.S. Senate for 10 years for the Honorable Jeff Bingaman (D-NM).

Ms. Billy has been the principal investigator on numerous federal and private sector grants, including research awards from the National Science Foundation, the National Institutes of Health, NASA, the U.S. Departments of Education and Agriculture, the Lumina Foundation, USA Funds, and more. Ms. Billy’s accomplishments include designing and implementing strategic initiatives and developing innovative policies and programs and tribally-directed research initiatives, including AIHEC AIMS, a comprehensive data collection system for TCUs, and the Indigenous Evaluation Framework, which incorporates Indigenous epistemology and core tribal values into a framework that integrates place, community, individual gifts and sovereignty with Western evaluation practice. She has worked to forge partnerships and coalitions and drafted legislation to designate Tribal Colleges as the “1994 land-grant institutions” and to create new federal designation for “Hispanic Serving Institutions”. Her career reflects a commitment to public service -- to protecting and promoting the cultures, rights and well-being of American Indians and Alaska Natives and improving the quality of life and educational status of all Americans.

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