Justin Kii Huenemann Named New Executive Director of the Notah Begay III Foundation

Justin Kii Huenemann

Justin Kii Huenemann

ALBUQUERQUE – The Board of Directors of the Notah Begay III (NB3) Foundation announced Tuesday it has selected Justin Kii Huenemann to be the Foundation’s next executive director.

Mr. Huenemann, a citizen of the Navajo Nation, brings 20 years of experience providing executive leadership in the nonprofit, government, and higher education sectors.  His professional career has focused on community economic development in low-income communities, Native American communities, and communities of color. He has spent his career working to advance American Indian self-determination, believing strongly in the strength, knowledge and resiliency of Indigenous people.Mr. Huenemann replaces Crystal Echo Hawk, who stepped down on December 31 after heading the NB3 Foundation for nearly six years.

“It is a privilege to welcome Justin Huenemann to the NB3 Foundation team,” stated Notah Begay III, Founder of the NB3 Foundation.  “Justin brings with him a wealth of knowledge and experience that will truly make an impact on the communities we serve.  I look forward to working closely with Justin to strengthen and improve the wonderful platform established by his predecessor.  It is our hope that Mr. Huenemann’s leadership can enhance the quality and effectiveness of the NB3 Foundation, staff and programs.”

“It is with great enthusiasm and humility that I accept the Executive Director position of the Notah Begay III Foundation,” said Mr. Huenemann.  “There is no doubt in my mind that sound health and wellness are essential to any thriving future we desire for our tribal nations and the generations to come. To realize this future, we must address together the epidemics of childhood obesity and type 2 diabetes that plague our Native youth. I look forward to working hand-in-hand with Native youth, tribal leaders, and our allies in this fight to eliminate this reality.”

Prior to joining the NB3 Foundation, Huenemann served as a Senior Program Officer for the Northwest Area Foundation (NWAF).  With a mission to reduce poverty and build sustainable prosperity, Huenemann supported champions of change who were building assets, wealth and opportunity in rural, urban and Native American communities across eight states and 75 tribal nations. He also served as the founding President and CEO of the Native American Community Development Institute (NACDI), an award-winning community development organization located in Minneapolis, MN.  Here he led numerous community development projects, including establishing the American Indian Cultural Corridor.

Mr. Huenemann currently serves on the boards of Woodlands National Bank, Indian Health Board and the Tiwahe Foundation. Over the years he has received several notable awards, including the “Mayor’s Healthy City Award” from the City of Minneapolis and Abbott Northwestern Hospital Foundation and the Bear Award from the Minnesota American Indian Chamber of Commerce.

Mr. Huenemann holds a B.A. degree in Architecture and a M.A. degree in Higher Education Administration from the University of Minnesota.

“We are excited to have a professional of Justin’s caliber join the Foundation as our Executive Director,” stated Wilson Pipestem, Chairman of the NB3 Foundation Board of Directors. “He has the right experience, background, and passion to help win the fight against diabetes and obesity in our Native young people.”

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