Organization Board Members & Staff
Board of Directors
Directors listed by region with links to Tribe website & personal bios - Contact information can be found in our Directory
Executive Director: Valerie J. Grussing, PhD
As Executive Director of NATHPO, Valerie is committed to protecting Native places through support, guidance, advocacy, and strengthening partnerships among 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 revitalizing Native cultures and reclaiming places. Valerie is honored to be part of an ongoing paradigm shift of decolonization grounded in sovereignty, self-determination, reconciliation, and healing.
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.
Director of Operations: Melissa Madrigal
Melissa Madrigal is committed to bridging the gap between protecting cultural & Native resources and emergency/hazardous response. She has experience in archaeology focused on the southeastern US, underwater archaeology with NOAA’s National Marine Sanctuaries, oil spill response & environmental planning, and process hazard analysis. She also has experience with non-profit organizations and has been working with NATHPO on grant reporting and accountability. Melissa is highly invested in helping foster communication between groups and has focused on developing the NATHPO contact database and member management platform. She also helped develop, launch, and maintain the new NATHPO website.
Melissa holds a BS in Anthropology and a BS in Psychology from University of Houston, and ABD Coastal Resources Management PhD from East Carolina University. She and her husband, Stewart, have 3 cats (Rainbow Brite, Bagheera, & Dr. Martin Write) which keep them on their toes! She took up pottery in 2021 and is excited to continue to learn new skills working with clay.
Indigenization Advisor: Stacy Laravie
Thathi-a A’thayH WoNgithe,
Ponka Izha’zhe wiwita-the Mecca e, Waxe isha’zhe wiwita-the Stacy Laravie. Hello all my relatives. My Ponca name is Star, and my English name is Stacy Laravie. I am Ponca, I am a 3x great granddaughter to Chief Standing Bear of the Ponca. I am a Mother and Matriarch first. I am a former THPO and NAGPRA consultant; I have traditional knowledge in cultural resources and am traditional knowledge keeper. I have a background with plant & indigenous foodways and traditional ecological knowledge in the sciences. It is my humble honor to protect and honor the sacred work that THPOs do.
I am a Mother of 3 and a cat mom to my bowtie-wearing cat, Binx. I am based in Nebraska and in my spare time: I have a Nebraska history podcast and I am a chef specializing in indigenous foods and ancestral foods of the Ponca. Food preservationist, writer, artist, forager, seed keeper, and land water protector. I enjoy anything out in the trees, on the water, and involving music.
Repatriation Advisor: Timothy McKeown
For 18 years, Tim served as a Federal official responsible for drafting regulations implementing Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act (NAGPRA), developing databases to document compliance, establishing a grants program, investigating allegations of failure to comply for possible civil penalties, coordinating the activities of a Secretarial advisory committee, and providing training and technical assistance to nearly 1000 museums and Federal agencies and 700 indigenous communities across the U.S.
Since 2009, Tim has consulted on repatriation of cultural items with several Indian tribes, prepared policy recommendations and provided training at annual meetings of the National Association of Tribal Historic Preservation Officers and served as an expert witness for tribal Plaintiffs in a case before a US Federal District Court. In 2020, he was appointed by the Secretary of the Interior to the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Review Committee. Tim also teaches repatriation and ethics at Australian National University and Central European University. The University of Arizona Press published his comprehensive review of the legislative history of U.S. Federal repatriation mandates and his is co-editor of the recently published Routledge Companion to International Indigenous Repatriation: Return, Reconcile, Renew.
Government Affairs Coordinator: Ted Monoson
Ted Monoson is a Principal in 4th St Communications. He has more than two decades of experience working as a reporter, senior policy aide and senior communications aide. Ted served as the Senior Director of Government Affairs at the National Conference of State Historic Preservation Officers. In this role, he led the successful effort to almost triple Historic Preservation Fund appropriations to $144 million and positioned NCSHPO as the organization that Congressional staff turned to for questions about historic preservation. Ted is a strong proponent of the need to increase diversity in historic preservation, specifically the preservation of Tribal Nations’ sacred sites and places associated with the Civil Rights Movement.
As a reporter, Ted covered agriculture, natural resources and energy issues for CQ. He also covered Washington, D.C., for large circulation daily newspapers in the American West, including The Billings Gazette, the Casper Star Tribune and the Missoulian. Ted spent almost five years working for House Speaker John Boehner as an aide focused on agriculture, natural resources and energy issues. He also served as Communications Director for the House Committee on Agriculture.
NATHPO Associate: Wesley James Furlong
Wesley James Furlong is a Senior Staff Attorney with the Native American Rights Fund in their Anchorage, Alaska, office. He joined NARF in 2016 as their inaugural Alaska Fellow. Wes’s practice focuses primarily on the protection of Indigenous cultural resources and traditional cultural places and landscapes. Much of this work involves representing Tribal Nations, Tribal consortia and organizations, and Native Hawaiian organizations as consulting parties and cooperating agencies in the NHPA Section 106 and NEPA EIS processes for large-scale and highly controversial natural resource development and infrastructure projects, such as the proposed Pebble Mine in Alaska, the BLM’s development of an oil and gas leasing program in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, Enbridge’s Line 5 tunnel replacement project in Michigan, and the construction of the Thirty-Meter Telescope on Mauna Kea. Through this work, Wes has developed a nationally recognized expertise in all aspects of the NHPA Section 106 process, Tribal consultation generally, and traditional cultural places and landscapes. Wes also represents and advises Tribal Nations and Tribal organizations in litigation involving violations of the NHPA, NHPA-specific rulemaking, National Register of Historic Places nominations, and the development of Section 106 program alternatives. Wes also maintains an active litigation docket in federal, Tribal, and state fora. His practice also includes Tribal jurisdiction, defending Tribal sovereignty, treaty rights, environmental and natural resources law, voting rights and redistricting, sovereign immunity, subsistence rights, constitutional law, and oil and gas law.
In addition to this work, Wes has also published extensive scholarship on traditional cultural landscapes, cultural resource protection, Section 106 and Appendix C, treaty rights, and habitat restoration. Wes received the 2020 Partner in Preservation award from the National Association of Tribal Historic Preservation Officers and currently serves as the inaugural Chair of the Public Land & Resources Law Review Alumni Advisory Board.