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NAIHC names Arizona tribal member executive director

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WASHINGTON – The National American Indian Housing Council recently selected Mellor Willie, a Native American affairs advocate with extensive experience at the tribal, state and federal level, as the organization’s new executive director.

Willie will direct the nonprofit organization’s operations and programming, as well as publicly promote and advance the American Indian, Alaska Native and Native Hawaiian housing policy agenda in Washington, D.C. and abroad.

“Mr. Willie comes to NAIHC with over 10 years of direct experience in Native American affairs,” said Marty Shuravloff, NAIHC chairman. “His background in public policy, public relations and fundraising will be a valuable asset to the organization and will help move the organization towards accomplishing its mission to help provide quality affordable housing for Native people.”

Willie is a member of the Navajo Nation, born and raised in Window Rock, Ariz. In 1998, he received his bachelor’s degree in political science from Southern Utah University. In May 2009, Willie graduated from George Washington University’s Graduate School of Political Management, being the first American Indian to graduate from the program.

“I am passionate about the housing issues that affect Native communities and I am very proud to help further the work of the National American Indian Housing Council,” Willie said. “The board and members of the organization work tirelessly to build strong and healthy Native communities by providing housing opportunities for Native people. This is a very big task and I plan to use my education, talents and skills to ensure that the organization is fulfilling its mission and keeping the federal government and the public aware of the housing needs in Native communities.”

For the past three and a half years Willie served as director of development for the National Congress of American Indians headquartered in Washington, D.C. As the chief fundraising executive, he directed fundraising efforts for NCAI. Willie has held a number of high-level public policy and public relations positions with a variety of organizations, including the Navajo Nation, Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government and the New Mexico State Senate.

Willie continues to serve on the advisory board for the Washington Internships for Native Students at American University.