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NIEA names new executive director

WASHINGTON — The National Indian Education Association’s Board of Directors announced July 1 the appointment of Diana Cournoyer (Oglala Sioux Tribe) as the organization’s new executive director.

After a nationwide search, the Board overwhelmingly supported Cournoyer, who has been serving as the interim executive director for the past six months.

Cournoyer first joined NIEA as a program manager nearly six years ago.

“I am deeply honored to be chosen for this important role and am looking forward to continuing to strengthen Native education and reach students, tribal leaders, educators, administrators, and advocates through NIEA’s resources, trainings, events, and support,” Cournoyer said.

As executive director, Cournoyer will direct a 10-person staff in carrying out the organization’s 7-Pillar Strategic Plan which includes: Advocacy; Building Tribal Education Capacity; Culture-Based Education; Skilled Teachers and Leaders; Establishing Educational Standards, Assessments, and Accountability; and Post-Secondary Success.

NIEA Executive Director Diana Cournoyer

Prior to joining NIEA, Cournoyer worked with the Oglala Lakota College Graduate Studies Department, managing the Education Administration Professional Development Grant and Educational Leadership master’s degree program.

Her work realigned the Education Administration curriculum and objectives with national and South Dakota State educational standards.

Cournoyer earned a master’s degree in Educational Leadership from the University of Oklahoma and is currently a doctoral candidate with the University of South Dakota.