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President Joe Biden announced on Tuesday his intent to nominate Shelly Lowe as chair of the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH). If confirmed by the United States Senate, Lowe will be the nation’s first Native American to serve as chair of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Established by Congress in 1965, the National Endowment for the Humanities is an independent federal agency that supports research, education, and development across the humanities through partnerships with state and local leaders, other federal agencies, and the philanthropic sector.

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Lowe is a tribal citizen of the Navajo Nation and grew up on the Navajo Reservation in Ganado, Arizona. She is currently a member of the National Council on the Humanities, an appointment she received from President Obama. Her career in higher education has included administrative roles such as executive director of the Harvard University Native American Program, assistant dean in the Yale College Dean's Office, and director of the Native American Cultural Center at Yale University.

Prior to these positions, she spent six years as the graduate education program facilitator for the American Indian Studies Programs at The University of Arizona.  

Lowe has served in a variety of leadership roles nationally, most recently as a member of the University of Arizona Alumni Association Governing Board and as a member of the Challenge Leadership Group for the MIT Solve Indigenous Communities Fellowship. She has served on the board of the National Indian Education Association and as a Board of Trustee for the National Museum of the American Indian. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology, a Master of Arts in American Indian Studies, and has completed doctoral coursework in Higher Education from the University of Arizona.

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