Nikki Pitre Named New Executive Director of the Center for Native American Youth

July 8, 2020

A member of the Coeur d’Alene Tribe, Pitre serves as the first Native American woman director at the Aspen Institute

Contact: Jon Purves
Senior Media Relations Manager
The Aspen Institute
[email protected]

Washington, DC, July 8, 2020The Aspen Institute announced Nikki Pitre as the new Executive Director of the Center for Native American Youth (CNAY), after a national search. Pitre most recently served as Acting Director of CNAY since February, 2020.

“We are proud to announce that Nikki Pitre has been selected as the new Executive Director of the Center for Native American Youth at the Aspen Institute,” said Byron Dorgan, former U.S. Senator and founder and chairman of the Advisory Board of CNAY. “Nikki has been an excellent Interim Director these past six months, and our CNAY Board of Advisors believe that under Nikki’s leadership CNAY will continue the excellent work to improve the lives of Native American Youth.”

As Executive Director, Nikki works closely with the Board of Advisors and Youth Advisory Board, manages staff and sets the vision and strategies for the Center for Native American Youth. Prior to joining the Institute in 2018, Pitre worked collectively for seven years at the American Indian Higher Education Consortium. She is a graduate of the University of Washington.

“Nikki Pitre’s appointment as the Executive Director of CNAY is a seamless transition,” said Youth Advisory Board Secretary & 2020 Champion for Change, Owen Oliver. “Nikki’s drive and aspirations will allow future generations of Indigenous youth to become leaders, just like herself. As Executive Director, she will be able to thoroughly communicate more interdepartmentally and create long lasting relationships in and out of the Aspen Institute.”

“As reflection of my family and my tribal community, it is my responsibility to be a good ancestor and lay a strong foundation for the future generations” said Pitre. A member of the Coeur d’Alene Tribe, Pitre serves as the first Native American woman director at the Aspen Institute.

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The Center for Native American Youth believes Native American youth should lead full and healthy lives, have equal access to opportunity, and draw strength from their culture and inspire one another. CNAY focuses on the resilience of Native youth and supports them through youth recognition, inspiration, and leadership; research, advocacy, and policy change; by serving as a national resource exchange; and by developing strengths-based Native youth media opportunities. Learn more at www.cnay.org.

The Aspen Institute is a global nonprofit organization committed to realizing a free, just, and equitable society. Founded in 1949, the Institute drives change through dialogue, leadership, and action to help solve the most important challenges facing the United States and the world. Headquartered in Washington, DC, the Institute has a campus in Aspen, Colorado, and an international network of partners. For more information, visit www.aspeninstitute.org

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