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Jacqueline Pata, Tlingit, is leaving the National Congress of American Indians and starts her new role as the president and chief executive officer of the Tlingit Haida Regional Housing Authority.

The housing authority’s board of commissioners appointed Pata in her position last month after searching for one year. She served as ex-officio on the board for the housing authority. The new job is based in Juneau.

“We are pleased to announce that Jackie Pata will take the helm at the Housing Authority,” said housing authority’s board of commissioners in a news release. “We look forward to Ms. Pata’s leadership as we work to strengthen our relationships with tribal partners and the communities we serve through our new strategic priorities.”

Pata served NCAI for 17 years, the longest-serving executive director in the organization’s history. She resigned in February.

(Previous story: Who will be next? ‘One of the hardest jobs in the world,’ leading the National Congress of American Indians)

Pata remained with the organization until last week to assist with the transition of new leadership. The NCAI has yet to appoint a new chief executive officer. But deputy director Ahnwiake Rose steps in as acting executive director. The job listing is no longer listed on the organization’s website. NCAI has not responded to Indian Country Today’s request for a comment.

Pata returns to familiar territory with more housing experience than before. She worked for the housing authority in Alaska as the executive director from 1989 to 1998. At the same time she served as chairwoman of the Native American Indian Housing Council. She began her work as NCAI’s leaders in 2001.

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Before working at NCAI, Pata worked for the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development as the deputy assistant secretary for the department’s Office of Native American Programs.

“Jackie is a recognized and well-respected leader across Alaska and throughout Indian Country. Her previous experience in housing and passion for service to Southeast communities will be a real asset to the Housing Authority,” said the board of Tlingit Haida Regional Housing Authority.

Other roles Pata holds include second vice president for the Central Council of the Tlingit Haida Indian Tribes of Alaska, vice chair for the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, board member of George Gustave Heye Center of the National Museum of the American Indian, board member of Sealaska Corporation, and holds a spot on other executive national boards.

Joyce Niven was interim president and chief executive officer while the organization searched for a new leader. Niven will continue her role as vice president of administration for the authority.


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Jourdan Bennett-Begaye, Diné, is a reporter/producer for Indian Country Today in Washington, D.C. Follow her on Twitter - @jourdanbb. Email

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