Select Page

Board of Trustees

In 1986 the United States of America Congress established the Institute of American Indian and Alaska Native Culture and Arts Development (IAIA), making IAIA one of only three Congressionally chartered colleges. Board trustees are appointed by the President of the United States. The President of IAIA is a board member ex officio, as is the president of the IAIA Associated Student Government. IAIA is under the direction and control of the board of trustees, which has ultimate authority to make and approve policy, appoint the President of the IAIA, and make rules and procedures as it deems necessary.
Loren Kieve

Loren Kieve

(Cherokee)

Chair
Board of Trustees
P (505) 424-2301

Biography

Loren Kieve (Cherokee) practices law in San Francisco. He previously practiced in Washinton, D.C. and New York. He is listed in “The Best Lawyers in America” and, for the twentieth year in a row, as a San Francisco “Super Lawyer.” He is a past chair of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights of the Bay Area, San Francisso, and was an elected trustee of the State Bar of California. He serves on the board of the national Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law. He is a 29-year trustee and three-time (and current) chair of the Institute of American Indian Arts, appointed by United States Presidents Clinton and then Obama. He was inducted into Stanford’s multicultural alumni hall of fame. The University of New Mexico gave him its Bernard S. Rodey Award (to an individual who has “devoted an unusual amount of time in a leadership capacity and whose efforts have contributed significantly to the field of education”). He was given the ABA’s John H. Pickering Award for a lifetime of public service. He attended Stanford University and has law degrees from Oxford University and the University of New Mexico.
Andrea Akalleq Burgess

Andrea Akalleq Burgess

(Yup‘ik)

Trustee
Board of Trustees
P (505) 424-2301

Biography

Andrea Akalleq Burgess (Yup’ik) is the Global Director of the Conservation in Partnership with Indigenous Peoples and Local Communities program at The Nature Conservancy. In Burgess’ role at The Nature Conservancy, she helps transform the way land and waters decisions are made by strengthening the voice, choice, and action of Indigenous peoples and local communities to shape and manage natural territory in ways that improve lives and drive conservation. The Nature Conservancy plans customized cultural competency trainings for philanthropy staff and donors in Canada. From New York to Alaska, Oregon to the Great Plains, and elsewhere, The Nature Conservancy is committed to taking the steps needed to effectively work with Indigenous Peoples in the pursuit of shared conservation goals.

She received her BA in government from Georgetown University.

Johnpaul Jones

Johnpaul Jones

(Choctaw and Cherokee)

Trustee
Board of Trustees
P (505) 424-2301

Biography

Johnpaul Jones has a distinguished 52-year career as an architect and is a founding partner of Jones & Jones. Earning his Bachelor of Architecture from the University of Oregon in 1967, his design philosophy emerged from his Choctaw-Cherokee ancestors, which connects his work to the natural world, animal world, spirit world, and human world.

Jones’s designs have won widespread acclaim for their reverence for the earth, for paying deep respect to regional indigenous architectural traditions and native landscapes, as well as for heightening understanding of indigenous people and their diverse Native cultural centers and museums with tribes spanning the North American continent, culminating in his 12-year engagement as overall lead design consultant for the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian on the National Mall in Washington, DC A fellow in the American Institute of Architects, his designs have won a stream of local awards. His awards include the 2005 Distinguished Service Award from the University of Oregon, his alma mater, the AIA Seattle Medal in 2006, the Executive Excellence Award from the American Indian Science and Engineering Society in 2006, the Pietro Belluschi Distinguished Professorship from the University of Oregon in 2011, the Island Treasure Award from the Bainbridge Island Art and Humanities Council in 2013, and the Washington State Governor’s Heritage Award in 2014. President Barack Obama awarded him the National Humanities Medal in 2014.

Rose Simpson

Rose Simpson

(Santa Clara Pueblo)

Trustee
Board of Trustees
P (505) 424-2301

Biography

Rose B. Simpson (b. 1983, Santa Clara Pueblo, NM) has an MFA from the Rhode Island School of Design and an MA in Creative Writing from the Institute of American Indian Arts. Her works are in many museum collections, including the Hirshhorn, Washington, DC; Guggenheim, New York; Museum of Fine Arts Boston; ICA Boston; Princeton University Art Museum; Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, Philadelphia; MCA Chicago; Denver Art Museum; Portland Art Museum; LACMA, Los Angeles; Pomona College Museum of Art, Claremont, CA; and SFMOMA. Simpson has enjoyed solo shows at ICA Boston; the Nevada Art Museum, Reno; SCAD Museum of Art, Savannah, GA; Pomona College Museum of Art; the Wheelwright Museum, Santa Fe; and The Fabric Workshop and Museum, Philadelphia. Her work has recently been included in group exhibitions at the National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC; MASS MoCA, North Adams, MA; Cleveland Museum of Art; SFMOMA; Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts; the Berkeley Art Museum, CA; and the Bronx Museum of the Arts, NY. Simpson lives and works in Santa Clara Pueblo, New Mexico. She is represented by Jessica Silverman, San Francisco, and Jack Shainman Gallery, New York. In 2022, Simpson debuted Counterculture, a twelve-figure public work at Field Farm, MA, which is now on view at the Kohler Art Center in Sheboygan, WI. In 2023, she was appointed to the Board of Trustees of the Institute of American Indian Art by President Biden.
Beverly Wright Morris

Beverly Wright Morris

(Aleut)

Vice-Chair
Board of Trustees
P (505) 424-2301

Biography

Beverly Morris (Aleut) is producer, director, and owner of Chain Reaction Productions. She has been associated with the IAIA since 1988 as a student, staff member, producer, and director. Morris received her BFA from Stephen F. Austin State.
Madeline Fielding Sayet

Madeline Fielding Sayet

(Mohegan)

Trustee
Board of Trustees
P (505) 424-2301

Biography

Madeline Sayet is a Mohegan theater maker who believes the stories we pass down inform our collective possible futures. For her work as a director, playwright, and performer, she has been honored as a Forbes 30 Under 30 in Hollywood & Entertainment, TED Fellow, National Directing Fellow, NCAIED Native American 40 Under 40, and a recipient of The White House Champion of Change Award from President Barack Obama. Her plays include Where We Belong, Up and Down the River, Antigone Or And Still She Must Rise Up, Daughters of Leda, The Neverland, and The Fish. Her theater directing work has been seen at Long Wharf Theatre, Denver Center for the Performing Arts, Perseverance Theatre, Connecticut Repertory Theater, TheatreSquared, Delaware Shakespeare Festival, South Dakota Shakespeare Festival, The Krannert Center, Glimmerglass Festival, 59e59, and more. Her play Where We Belong has been performed at The Public Theater, Seattle Rep (Winner, Heilman & Haver Award for Best Play of the 2022-2023 Seattle Theater Season), Hudson Valley Shakespeare, The Goodman Theatre (Jeff Award Nomination for Best Solo Performance), Philadelphia Theatre Company, Portland Center Stage, The Oregon Shakespeare Festival, and Baltimore Center Stage as part of a national tour produced by Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company in association with The Folger Shakespeare Library. She currently serves as an Assistant Professor at Arizona State University and is the Executive Director of the Yale Indigenous Performing Arts Program.
Lawrence Scott Roberts II

Lawrence Scott Roberts II

(Oneida)

Trustee
Board of Trustees
P (505) 424-2301

Biography

Lawrence Roberts (Oneida Nation) was appointed by President Obama to the Department of the Interior, Office of the Assistant Secretary, Indian Affairs in 2012, and ended his service on January 20, 2017. Roberts managed the Bureau of Indian Affairs, the Bureau of Indian Education and numerous offices that report to the Assistant Secretary’s Office. He worked closely with Tribes, other federal agencies, and the White House Council on Native American Affairs to foster tribal self-determination. Roberts graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1992 with a double major in Political Science and Sociology and from the University of Wisconsin Law School in 1995.
C. Matthew Snipp

C. Matthew Snipp

(Oklahoma Cherokee/Choctaw)

Trustee
Board of Trustees
P (505) 424-2301

Biography

Dr. C. Matthew Snipp (Oklahoma Cherokee/Choctaw) is the Burnet C. and Mildred Finley Wohlford Professor of Humanities and Sciences at Stanford University and the Director of the Institute for Research in the Social Sciences’ Secure Data Center. Dr. Snipp received an MS and PhD from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
JoAnn Balzer

JoAnn Balzer

Member at Large
Board of Trustees
P (505) 424-2301

Biography

JoAnn Lynn Balzer, Santa Fe community leader and arts advocate, has had an extensive career in the arts, fundraising and non-profit management. She has long been a passionate supporter of the contemporary expressions of Native American arts and cultures and is dedicated to their promotion.

In 2010, President Barack Obama appointed her as a Trustee of the Institute of American Indian Arts (IAIA). In 2009 she was appointed by Governor Bill Richardson to serve as a New Mexico Arts Commissioner. She is a 2015 recipient of the Santa Fe Mayor’s Awards for Excellence in the Arts and was appointed Chair of the Santa Fe Arts Commission’s Cultural Affairs Working Group to help create, Culture Connects, the City’s first-ever cultural plan.

Balzer helped open two Santa Fe Museums—the IAIA Museum of Contemporary Native Arts (MoCNA) in 1991 and the Spanish Colonial Arts Museum in 2002. As a Trustee at IAIA, she and her husband named the Balzer Contemporary Edge Gallery on campus for students and the Balzer Alumni Gallery on campus for alumni to display their work. She is a Lensic Board member, an Honorary Director of the Ralph T. Coe Center for the Arts, and on the Advisory Boards of the International Folk Art Market and the Museum of New Mexico Foundation, where she co-founded Friends of Indian Art at the Museum of Indian Arts and Culture. She is a former board member of the Southwest Museum and the Autry National Center in Los Angeles.

She and her husband Bob sponsored the inaugural Indian Market EDGE to support SWAIA and its contemporary component, and are Founding Sponsors of the Innovation component of Santa Fe’s International Folk Art Market.

Before concentrating on the non-profit sector, JoAnn worked in advanced technology at IBM. She also taught college-level mathematics at Pepperdine University and Pennsylvania State University. She is a magna cum laude graduate of Westminster College, earning a Bachelor of Science in Mathematics. She holds a Masters of Science in Mathematics from Carnegie Mellon University and an Honorary Doctorate in the Sciences from Westminster College.

Charles W. Galbraith

Charles W. Galbraith

(Navajo)

Trustee
Board of Trustees
P (505) 424-2301

Biography

Charles Galbraith (Navajo Nation) is Co-Chair of the Native American practice at Jenner & Block LLP in Washington, DC, focusing his practice on litigation and Native American Affairs. Prior to joining the firm, Galbraith was the White House Associate Director of Intergovernmental Affairs and Public Engagement, where he managed the relationship of the White House with 566 Tribal Governments and Native American people.
Jane Semple Umsted

Jane Semple Umsted

(Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma)

Trustee
Board of Trustees
P (505) 424-2301

Biography

Jane Semple Umsted is an artist who has spent a lifetime working in a variety of media, which includes oils, acrylics, watercolor, sculpture, and the unique media of batik. She is a descendant of two Choctaw Chiefs, and her art exudes the spirit of her Native roots. Since childhood, Semple Umsted has been inspired by the themes and visual images of the Choctaw culture, which have become the inspiration for her artwork. Emphasis on vibrant color and dramatic design is one of the strongest and most dramatic elements of her work, and these qualities consistently permeate all aspects of the art she produces. Semple Umsted serves as the curator of the Semple Family Museum of Native American Art at Southeastern Oklahoma State University. She received a BFA from the University of Oklahoma in 1969 and an ME from Southeastern Oklahoma State University in 1989. She retired from the Durant Public Schools, where she was the art teacher for the Durant Middle School in 2007. She is a proud member of the Choctaw Tribe of Oklahoma and has been a professional artist for over 50 years. Semple Umsted is the owner of the Indian Territory Art Gallery in Durant, Oklahoma.
Manuelito Wheeler

Manuelito Wheeler

(Diné)

Trustee
Board of Trustees
P (505) 424-2301

Biography

Born and raised on the Navajo Nation, Manuelito Wheeler is currently the Director of the Navajo Nation Museum in Window Rock, Arizona. Since becoming Director in 2008, he has worked with staff to see the completion of numerous exhibits that are 100% Native built from concept, curation, and creation. Along with this, he has led his team in creating innovative projects that influence and preserve Navajo culture. Some of these projects include a Navajo collaborative project with Ai Weiwei and Bert Benallie, dubbing the movies Finding Nemo and Star Wars into the Navajo language, and most recently, facilitating the donation of one of three copies of the Navajo Treaty of 1868 to the Navajo Nation Museum. He is married to Jennifer Jackson-Wheeler, Ph.D., and they have two sons. 

Ex Officio Members

The President of IAIA is a board member ex officio, as is the president of the IAIA Associated Student Government.

Dr. Robert Martin

Dr. Robert Martin

(Cherokee)

President
Office of the President
P (505) 424-2301
E president@iaia.edu

Biography

Dr. Robert Martin became President of the Institute of American Indian Arts (IAIA) on July 1, 2007. He has led the development of a comprehensive strategic plan and a campus facilities master plan resulting in academic program expansion, growth in student enrollment, construction of five new buildings on campus and the launch of a successful capital campaign. Prior to joining the IAIA community, Dr. Martin was the Associate Head for the American Indian Studies program at the University of Arizona. He also served as President of Southwestern Indian Polytechnic Institute in Albuquerque for eight years and president of Haskell Indian Nations University for ten years. Under his guidance, Haskell made the transition from junior college to a university offering baccalaureate programs. In addition, he served as the President of Tohono O’odham Community College (TOCC) in Sells, Arizona. During his tenure, TOCC achieved accreditation by the Higher Learning Commission and was designated as a 1994 Land Grant Institution by the U.S. Congress.

Dr. Martin is an enrolled member of the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma and received his Doctorate in Educational Leadership from the University of Kansas and his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Appalachian State University.

He currently serves on the boards of American Indian Higher Education Consortium, Lensic Performing Arts Center and the Higher Learning Commission—a regional accreditor for colleges and universities. Dr. Martin was awarded the Liberty Bell Award by the Douglas County (Kansas) Bar Association, bestowed on Law Day USA to recognize individual contributions to human rights. He also was awarded an honorary doctorate from Baker University and in 2010 he received the Tribal College President of the Year Award.

Tom Cole

Tom Cole

(Chickasaw Nation)

Congressman
United States Representative

Biography

Identified by Time Magazine as “one of the sharpest minds in the House,” Tom Cole is currently serving in his tenth term in the U.S. House of Representatives. At the outset of his service in Congress, Cole was named one of the “Five Freshmen to Watch” by Roll Call. In 2016, he was recognized by Newsmax as the “hardest working member in Congress.” He was inducted into the Oklahoma Hall of Fame in 2017.

Cole is recognized as a tireless advocate for taxpayers and small businesses, supporter of a strong national defense and leader in promoting biomedical research. He is considered the foremost expert in the House on issues related to Native Americans and tribal governments.

Since 2009, Cole has served on the powerful House Appropriations Committee, where he is currently Vice Chairman of the full committee and Chairman of the Subcommittee on Transportation, Housing and Urban Development.

Cole was appointed to the House Rules Committee in 2013 and has remained on the panel since then. He currently serves as Chairman, the top Republican leadership position on the committee. Cole also serves as a Deputy Whip for the Republican Conference and sits on the House Republican Steering Committee.

Cole is a fifth generation Oklahoman and an enrolled member of the Chickasaw Nation. He is one of only five Native Americans currently serving in Congress. Since 2009, he has served as the Republican Co-Chair of the Congressional Native American Caucus. The National Congress of American Indians has recognized Cole’s distinguished service with the Congressional Leadership award on three different occasions (2007, 2011 and 2017), more than any other Member of Congress in the history of the organization. He was inducted into the Chickasaw Hall of Fame in 2004.

Cole’s late mother, Helen, was also a member of the Chickasaw Hall of Fame and served as a state representative, state senator and the Mayor of Moore in her native state of Oklahoma. Cole’s late father, John, served 20 years in the United States Air Force and worked an additional two decades as a civilian federal employee at Tinker Air Force Base.

Tom and his wife, Ellen, have one son, Mason, and reside in Moore, Oklahoma.

Read Congressman Tom Cole’s full biography on his web page.

Laura Ten Fingers

Laura Ten Fingers

(Oglala Sioux Tribe)

She/Her/Hers
President
Associated Student Government
P (505) 424-5792
E laura.tenfingers@iaia.edu

Teresa Leger Fernández

Teresa Leger Fernández

Congresswoman
United States Representative

Biography

Congresswoman Teresa Leger Fernández represents New Mexico’s 3rd Congressional District.

Teresa is a 17th generation Northern New Mexican. Born in Las Vegas, New Mexico, she was part of the state’s first Head Start class. Teresa went on to graduate from Yale and Stanford Law School.

After law school, Teresa worked as an attorney and advocate and won important legal battles to advance voting rights, promote tribal sovereignty, and protect our environment and acequia waters. She also served as an acequia commissioner.

As a public interest lawyer, she helped secure nearly a billion dollars for and then helped build schools, rural health clinics, broadband, businesses, affordable housing, and critical infrastructure for New Mexico. She has worked to protect voting rights and create a more inclusive democracy. She was also a Clinton and Obama presidential appointee and worked as a White House Fellow on housing issues and as Vice Chair of the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation.

In Congress, Teresa serves on the House Rules Committee as Ranking Member of its Subcommittee on Legislative and Budget Process. Democratic Leader Hakeem Jeffries placed his trust in the congresswoman to represent the minority in this powerful committee. She also serves on the House Committee on Natural Resources as the Ranking Member of its Subcommittee on Indian and Insular Affairs. As Ranking Member, her focus is to build on the momentum from last Congress. When Leger Fernández was chair of the subcommittee, they made historic investments and passed the STOP Act to crack down on the trafficking of tribal cultural items.

Read Congresswoman Teresa Leger Fernández’s full biography on her web page.