Press Release

Contact: Janee Andrews at
Ahniwake Rose Joins NIHB as Director of Public Health Policy and Programs
WASHINGTON, DC - April 18, 2022 – The National Indian Health Board (NIHB) is excited to announce Ahniwake Rose will join NIHB and the leadership team as the Director of Public Health Policy and Programs in June. Rose brings 19 years of experience in Tribal policy and mission-driven state, national, and Tribal nonprofit organizations. Her passion for developing effective policy solutions that are evidence-based and reflective of impacted communities is central to her entire professional career.

Before joining NIHB, Rose will continue to serve as the Executive Director of the Oklahoma Policy Institute, a statewide think tank that works to advance equitable and fiscally responsible policies through nonpartisan research, analysis, and advocacy. The throughline of her career has been serving Indian Country where she held the positions of Deputy Director at the National Congress of American Indians (NCAI), and Executive Director at the National Indian Education Association (NIEA).

A citizen of the Cherokee Nation and of Muscogee (Creek) descent, Rose serves on several education and youth related boards and is a founding member of VEST, an organization dedicated to connecting women to positions of power and influence. Most importantly, she is a mother of two daughters, Waleah and Tanagila-win.

“I am thrilled and honored to take on the role of Director of Public Health Policy and Programs. American Indian/Alaska Native health care beliefs and practices embody ages of tradition and trust that intricately intertwine with healing and medicine. I am looking forward to working with everyone, together we will continue to address health equity," said Rose.

Lessons learned from the COVID pandemic called for evaluation of NIHB’s current priorities and strategies which helped inform the needs for a rebirth of NIHB’s work in the Tribal public health space. As the Director of Public Health Policy and Programs, Rose will serve as the principal NIHB public health representative and provides comprehensive oversight, including technical and administrative assistance, to all NIHB public health related grants, contracts, and activities. Rose will also advocate for Tribal needs related to public health issues, infrastructure, and programs utilizing her expert knowledge and understanding the political environment surrounding public health.

NIHB CEO Stacy A. Bohlen, a citizen of the Sault Ste. Marie Band of Chippewa Indians proclaimed her excitement stating, “Ahniwake has demonstrated the ability to diplomatically navigate and succeed in this environment and was chosen because of her track record in making impact for Tribes at the national level. In its 50th year serving Indian Country, I am confident she will bring a wealth of knowledge and experience to NIHB’s work. As a national Tribal organization dedicated exclusively to advocating for the fulfillment of the federal trust responsibility for health, it is the duty of NIHB to coordinate efforts by Tribal leaders, lawmakers and the Administration to ensure that American Indians and Alaska Natives have access to the highest health care and prevention resources.”

Established by the Tribes to advocate as the united voice of federally recognized American Indian and Alaska Native Tribes, NIHB seeks to reinforce Tribal sovereignty, strengthen Tribal health systems, secure resources, and build capacity to achieve the highest level of health and well-being for our People. 
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