NICWA Deputy Director Sarah Kastelic Named 2014 American Express NGen Leadership Award Recipient

NICWA Dep Dir awardPORTLAND, OREGON National Indian Child Welfare Association (NICWA) Deputy Director Sarah Kastelic, Ph.D., was named the 2014 recipient of the Independent Sector American Express NGen Leadership Award on Tuesday, June 10.

In announcing the award, Independent Sector cited Kastelic’s role as “a transformational leader working to further policy research that empowers American Indian and Alaska Native communities to prevent and respond to child abuse and neglect.”

Timothy J. McClimon, president of the American Express Foundation, which sponsors the award, stated, “American Express is proud to recognize Sarah’s work improving the lives of children and families in Native communities.”

Kastelic came to NICWA in 2011, bringing extensive leadership experience helping Native communities gain control of research about their citizens, further their own social goals, and strengthen their self-determination-principles central to NICWA’s mission. She will become the organization’s new executive director in January 2015 when NICWA Founding Executive Director Terry Cross steps down.

“Sarah has integrated flawlessly into the NICWA community while bringing her unique and transformative leadership style to the organization,” said Cross. “In six months when she assumes her role as executive director, I have no doubt that her expertise in leading collaborative research initiatives-and in truly working toward empowering and strengthening all tribal communities-will reverberate throughout Indian Country.”

Diana Aviv, president and CEO of Independent Sector, stated, “Sarah’s combination of cultural competence, rigorous research skills, and resolve to address some of their most pressing challenges has led to a breakthrough in gathering the research tribal leaders need to address the problems of their people. As future leader of NICWA, Sarah will surely bring her formidable talents to bear on the needs of Native children and families.”

Kastelic, who is Alutiiq, stated, “I am simply humbled by this recognition. Independent Sector and American Express each have a long history of partnership with Indian Country. Being commended by them for the honor of being able to serve Native children, families, and communities is something I appreciate deeply.”

Independent Sector’s American Express NGen Leadership Award recognizes one accomplished nonprofit or philanthropic leader age 40 or under who has already demonstrated significant impact in addressing society’s critical needs. Sarah will receive the award during the John W. Gardner Leadership Luncheon, November 18, 2014, at the IS National Conference in Seattle.

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