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Organization/Board of Directors



Executive Director

Valerie J. Grussing, PhD

As Executive Director of NATHPO, Valerie is committed to protecting culturally important places that perpetuate Native identity, resilience, and cultural endurance through support, guidance, and advocacy of Tribal Historic Preservation Officers. She enjoys group projects and creating collaborative solutions-focused programming. She is passionate about advocating for and elevating Native interests and voices in protecting and revitalizing Native cultures and places. Valerie is honored to be part of an ongoing paradigm shift in how agencies and industry work with indigenous groups by ensuring that staff and leadership are knowledgeable about principles of sovereignty, self-determination, and proactive engagement and relationship building.

Valerie holds a BA in History from North Carolina State University, an MA in Anthropology from the University of Iowa, and a PhD in Coastal Resources Management from East Carolina University. Based in Silver Spring, MD, she enjoys making jewelry, chalk art, and calligraphy, and spending time with her husband, young son, and daughter.

Board of Directors

Pacific Region

Shasta Gaughen – Chair
Pala Band of Mission Indians

Rocky Mountain Region

Michael Blackwolf
Fort Belknap Indian Community

Northwest/Alaska – Makah Region

Jill Wagner – Secretary/Treasurer
Coeur d’Alene Tribe

Eastern Region

Open position

Eastern Oklahoma Region

Everett Bandy

Great Plains Region

Jon Eagle – Vice Chair
Standing Rock Sioux Tribe

Southwest Region

Kurt Dongoske
Zuni Pueblo

Midwest Region

Cheyanne St. John
Lower Sioux Indian Community

Southern Plains Region

Lance Foster
Iowa Tribe of KS & NE

Navajo Region

Richard Begay
Navajo Nation

Western Region

Nick Laluk
White Mountain Apache


Valerie Grussing
Executive Director, ex officio

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NATHPO Consultant: Julie Nelson

THPO Directory

NATHPO Consultant: Melissa Madrigal