Announcing the 2023 NAFOA Leadership Summit Class


NAFOA is pleased to announce the 2023 NAFOA Leadership Summit Class. Twelve Native American young professionals were selected this year, making it the largest class to date. 

The NAFOA Leadership Summit offers young Native American leaders the opportunity to accelerate their professional development. Out of the largest and most competitive group of applicants, NAFOA selected twelve participants based on leadership experience, strong interest in finance, accounting, business, and tribal economic development policy. Each participant has demonstrated a commitment to the well-being and advancement of Indian Country. 

The fifth NAFOA Leadership Summit will take place at the Renaissance Washington DC Downtown Hotel on Sunday, April 23, 2023. At the Summit, participants will be immersed in a full day of career development, business and economic development discussions, and networking. Following the Summit, they will attend the 41st Annual NAFOA Conference. 

Support the success of the 2023 Leadership Summit class with a donation to the program. Your contribution directly impacts the experiences of these outstanding Native young professionals.


Leilani Wesley, Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians
Somerton, AZ and Choctaw, MS
AB in Economics; Minor in Education; Citation in Spanish, Harvard University


Bobby “Trae” Trousdale, Citizen Potawatomi Nation
Tecumseh, OK
Master of Public Administration (Public Organization and Nonprofit Management) and Master of Arts in Native American Studies (Tribal Governance & Policy), University of Oklahoma


Kamren Apache, Navajo Nation
Alamo Navajo Indian Reservation, NM 
Bachelor of Science Business Administration- Management, Haskell Indian Nations University- School of Business


Phyllip Thomas, Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation
Mashantucket, CT
BA in Liberal studies (Political Science/Economics), Pace University


Heidi Perkins, Tlingit & Haida
Soldotna, AK
Bachelor of Business Administration, Queens University of Charlotte


Remington Schneider, Omaha Tribe of Nebraska
Cincinnati, OH
BA, Environmental Policy and International Studies, Bowling Green State University 


James HorseChief, Osage Nation
Albuquerque, NM
Master of Business Administration, University of Colorado Boulder, Leeds School of Business


McKenna Green, Lac Courte Oreilles Band of Lake Superior 
Minneapolis, MN
Master of Science in Writing with specialization in Marketing, Portland State University


Gavin Holzworth, Cherokee Nation
Bakersfield, CA
Master of Business Administration, Oklahoma State University


Ashley Davis, Big Sandy Rancheria
Bellingham, WA and Auberry, CA
Bachelor of Arts, Tribal Governance and Business Management, Northwest Indian College


Randy Estrin, Tlingit & Haida
Ketchikan, AK
Bachelor of Business Administration, Haskell Indian Nations University


Christi Merrick, Omaha Tribe of Nebraska
Walthill, NE
Bachelor of Business Administration & Management, Bellevue University

Thank You to Our Leadership Summit Donors

When you donate to NAFOA’s education programs, you invest in the next generation of leaders who will grow, sustain, and protect tribal assets for further generations. Building the financial skills of the next generation is important to achieving the vision of many tribes long term economic viability. Make a tax-deductible donation on behalf of Native American youth today.

Meet these young leaders at the 41st Annual NAFOA Conference on April 24-25 in Washington, DC.
For more information about the conference, click here.


NAFOA Announces Former Yurok Tribal Leader Susan Masten As Interim Executive Director

NAFOA, founded as the Native American Finance Officers Association, names former Yurok Tribal Leader Susan Masten as its interim executive director effective today, June 1, 2023. She was appointed to the position by the NAFOA Board of Directors. As interim executive director, Masten will be responsible for managing the day-to-day operations of the organization, as well as leading its strategic direction.

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