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Executive Director, Native Nations Institute
Joan Timeche is executive director of the Native Nations Institute for Leadership, Management, and Policy at The University of Arizona. A citizen of the Hopi Tribe from the village of Old Oraibi, she received a BS in social work and an MBA from Northern Arizona University.
Prior to joining the Native Nations Institute in 2001, she served as program director of NAU's Center for American Indian Economic Development (CAIED). Additionally, from 1992-1995, she was co-executive director of the National Executive Education Program for Native American Leadership, a joint project of CAIED and Harvard University. Timeche also worked eight years as director of the Hopi Tribe's Department of Education. In 1989, she was named a Petra Foundation Fellow.
Timeche has served as president of the American Indian/Alaska Native Tourism Association, as executive director of the Arizona Native American Economic Coalition, and as chair of the board of directors of the Hopi Tribe Economic Development Corporation. She currently sits on the board of the Arizona American Indian Tourism Association, the National Center for American Indian Enterprise Development, and the Economic Development Authority of the Tohono O'odham Nation. She is a regular speaker at both regional and national conferences on topics related to Indian economic development and tourism, and is a recognized expert on doing business on Indian lands.
Timeche has spent her career focused on strategic economic development training and outreach programs. She founded the Native American Youth Entrepreneur Camp, for which she and NNI received the 2006 Youth Entrepreneurship of the Year Award by the National Center for American Indian Enterprise Development. In 2009, she received the American Indian Business Leaders Advocate of the Year Award for her work in promoting and cultivating Native American entrepreneurship. And in 2010, Timeche was named "Woman of the Year" by the Phoenix Indian Center.