The Association on American Indian Affairs, the longest serving Native non-profit in the United States, on Monday announced the appointment of Dillon Dobson, a citizen of the Cowlitz Nation, as its new Program Director.
Dobson joins the Association bringing a wealth of experience in federal Indian law, international Indigenous human rights law, Native Nation governance, cultural sovereignty, and policy advocacy.
Dobson will oversee the Association’s portfolio of Cultural Sovereignty, Allyship, and Next Generation programs serving Native Nations and their citizens, as well as educating the public. Dobson will work to support the Association’s strategic development into its next 100 years of service to Indian Country to create a world where diverse Native cultures and values are lived, protected and respected.
“We are thrilled to welcome Dillon to our team,” Shannon O’Loughlin, citizen of the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma and CEO and Attorney for the Association said. “His legal training, along with his background in grassroots organizing make him an excellent fit for this role and for advancing our vision, mission and goals. Dillon has a proven track record of enthusiasm and courage that will make a difference in our work with Native Country.”
Dobson’s hiring comes at a time of expansion and momentum for the Association. Over the last decade, the Association has broadened its focus into new program areas, achieved major policy victories, and built powerful coalitions—all while staying true to its roots as a Native-led change agent. Dillon’s expertise and vision will provide valuable momentum as the Association enters its next century of service.
“It’s an incredible honor to join the Association's century-long efforts to strengthen Native cultural sovereignty,” Dobson said. “I’m very excited to bring my passion, medicine, and dedication to the team as I start this exciting new chapter serving Native Country.”
Dobson comes to the Association from a prestigious California-based Native Nations law firm where he completed an intensive year-long fellowship focused on federal Indian law and Native Nation governance.
Dobson holds a Juris Doctor and Master of Professional Studies in Indigenous Governance from the University of Arizona's renowned Indigenous Peoples Law and Policy Program, and a Bachelor of Arts in Community Organizing and Indigenous Realities from the University of Redlands Johnston Center for Integrative Studies. Dobson has received the Vine Deloria, Jr. Fellowship and the Outstanding Native Graduate Academic & Service Award and other honors from the University of Arizona.
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