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News Release

National Indian Health Board

The National Indian Health Board (NIHB) is pleased to announce the promotion of A.C. Locklear, JD (Lumbee), to the position of Federal Relations Director – an inaugural position within National Indian Health Board.

As a key member of the National Indian Health Board Government Relations team, Locklear will lead National Indian Health Board's federal, budget and regulatory policy priorities, including developing and advancing tribal health and public health policy priorities to the Administration and the Agencies of the Federal Government, leading budget formation, analysis, and advocacy work and bolstering tribal leader participation in consultation and Tribal Advisory Committees. In his new role, Locklear also has leadership and oversight over National Indian Health Board's regulatory policy analysis and advocacy, particularly in the complex maze of federal Medicare/Medicaid policy. As Federal Relations Director, Locklear will have an increased focus on cultivating partnerships with federal agencies and tribal partners. As National Indian Health Board celebrates its 50th Anniversary, expanding and enhancing Federal Relations will position National Indian Health Board to serve tribal governments and communities better. 

Pictured: A.C. Locklear, Lumbee.

Pictured: A.C. Locklear, Lumbee.

Expanding National Indian Health Board's Federal Relations presence is a critical step to advancing National Indian Health Board's tribal health and public health priorities as established by tribal leaders and enacted by the National Indian Health Board Board of Directors. "A.C. Locklear is a valued National Indian Health Board team player who has proven himself an indispensable policy professional. He is keyed into the space of protecting tribal sovereignty and boldly standing on the Federal Trust responsibility for American Indian and Alaska Native tribal health and public health. We are excited the inaugural position of Federal Relations Director is now filled with the ideal candidate. We are so excited about the quality and depth of work A.C. will bring to our team of tribal health policy warriors," explained National Indian Health Board Chief Executive Officer Stacy A. Bohlen. 

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Joining National Indian Health Board's Policy Center as a Policy Analyst in April 2021, Locklear has overseen a broad portfolio of policy and legislative areas, including Tribal Public Health Infrastructure, Health Information Technology Modernization, and Behavioral Health. Additionally, Locklear has frequently drafted testimony to support tribal leaders during Consultation sessions and Congressional testimony. Locklear has also led and expanded National Indian Health Board's Federal Relations work and support of Tribal Advisory Committees. Locklear explained, "I'm excited to help grow National Indian Health Board's ability to support tribal leaders through technical assistance, capacity building, and budget and policy analysis to improve the lives and well-being of American Indians and Alaska Natives across the country."

"As a key leader of the Government Affairs team, Locklear will help oversee the expansion of National Indian Health Board's Government Relations work. Locklear will play a critical role in leading National Indian Health Board's advocacy efforts toward the federal government's fulfillment of its treaty and trust obligation for Indian health," explained Dr. Aaron Payment National Indian Health Board Director of Government Relations. 

Locklear is originally from Pembroke, NC, and is a citizen of the Lumbee Tribe of North Carolina. Locklear is a two-time graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, earning a BA in American Studies with a concentration in American Indian and Indigenous Studies in 2013. He graduated from the University of North Carolina School of Law in 2016. Before NIHB, Locklear served as a Program Manager with the Center for Native American Youth at the Aspen Institute. 

About National Indian Health Board

Established by the tribes to advocate as the united voice of federally recognized American Indian and Alaska Native tribes, National Indian Health Board seeks to reinforce tribal sovereignty, strengthen tribal health systems, secure resources, and build capacity to achieve the highest level of health and well-being for our people.

Join NIHB on August 16, for a virtual conference on Health Equity by clicking here. Don't forget to join us in Washington, DC, to celebrate NIHB's 50th Anniversary during the National Tribal Health Conference on September 26-28, 2022. Stay up to date with exciting developments, upcoming deadlines, and everything you need to know about the National Tribal Health Conference 2022 by visiting the conference website: and to celebrate coming together in person to advocate for health care for all American Indians and Alaska Natives.

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