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U.S. ambassador, regional leaders join Red Cloud Indian School board of directors

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PINE RIDGE, S.D. - A former U.S. ambassador, the superintendent for the BIA's Pine Ridge Agency, and a physician have all been named to the Red Cloud Indian School board of directors.

''All of us at Red Cloud are humbled and honored to welcome Ambassador Charles Manatt, Robert Ecoffey and Dr. Mark Butterbrodt to our board of directors,'' said the Rev. Peter Klink SJ, president of the school. ''These three gentlemen have worked tirelessly across the country and world for the betterment of others, and we look forward to their expertise as we work together to improve conditions for children and families on the Pine Ridge reservation.''

Manatt is the founder of Manatt, Phelps and Phillips LLP. He began his legal career focusing on banking and financial services, and his practice currently focuses on international, administrative and corporate law. Recently, he completed six years as chairman of the board of trustees of George Washington University. In addition, he has served or is serving as a governor of the Iowa State Foundation and as a board member of Wesley Foundation, Mayo Clinic Foundation, Museum of American History, Comsat Corp., Flying Tigers and Federal Express Corp.

Committed to public service, he has been very involved in the promotion of citizen democracy. Manatt has served as Democratic Party chairman in California and the western United States, and as the National Democratic Party chairman from 1981 - 85. He was co-chairman of Bill Clinton's campaign for president in 1992, and served as the ambassador to the Dominican Republic from 1999 - 2001.

Ecoffey is the superintendent for the Pine Ridge Agency. Once the deputy regional director of Indian services for the Great Plains Region of the BIA, Ecoffey was directly responsible for the management of the Indian Services Program, which included credit, housing, human services, roads and tribal government services. Working for the bureau since 1996 and with the federal government for more than 30 years, Ecoffey was the first American Indian to be appointed as a U.S. Marshal by President Bill Clinton in 1994. A member of the Oglala Sioux Tribe, Ecoffey previously served on the Red Cloud board from 1996 - 2002.

Butterbrodt is a board certified pediatrician who has worked in inner-city and remote areas for nearly three decades. A graduate of the Harvard College and the University of Minnesota's Medical School, he began his work in medicine in 1980 as a clinical director in Wagner. He went on to serve as a medical director in Rosebud and Porcupine, and most recently as a staff physician in Kyle, Pine Ridge and Wanblee.

He is a member of the American Academy of Pediatrics Committee on Native American Children's Health, National Diabetes Education Program, Pine Ridge Fitness Center and the Oglala Lakota Nation Wellness Team. He was also previously an assistant coach for the Red Cloud girls basketball team.

In addition to the new board members, Lori Pourier was elected to a second term. Pourier is a member of the Oglala Sioux Tribe and is currently executive director of First Peoples Fund, an organization whose mission is to honor and support creative community-centered artists and to nurture the collective spirit that allows them to sustain their peoples.

Red Cloud Indian School is a Lakota Catholic organization, serving the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation for more than 100 years. It educates more than 600 Lakota students in two elementary schools and a high school. It also provides faith-based and community services through the work of parishes across the reservation, and it builds cultural pride and understanding through The Heritage Center, a museum celebrating American Indian fine arts and Lakota tribal arts.