Business | National

Indian Country economic development group names new executive






Chris James. Photo: National Center for American Indian Enterprise Development

The National Center for American Indian Enterprise Development has a new president and chief executive officer.

Chris James comes to the organization from the Small Business Administration, where he handled outreach to Indian Country and tribal consultation. He also served as program manager at the Department of the Treasury, where he improved Indian Country's access to the Community Development Financial Institutions Fund.

"Chris James has the perfect combination of experience, knowledge, and personality to take the reins of an organization whose mission is to create economic opportunity for Indian Country,” Derrick Watchman, the chairman of the NCAIED board, said in a press release. “Mr. James has deep roots in Native American business and economic development, and he has risen to become one of the most effective and tireless advocates for our communities while working in the highest levels of the federal government."

James joins Indian Country's premiere business organization as it celebrates its 50th anniversary in 2017. NCAIED is hosting its annual Reservation Economic Summit in Las Vegas, Nevada, from March 13-16.

“I have worked side by side with the National Center for many years and have seen firsthand its powerful and direct impact on tribal businesses and countless lives," James said. "I am energized to join a group that’s helping to change the economic development conversation in Indian Country. I look forward to seeing familiar faces and new colleagues at RES Las Vegas.”

James is of Cherokee descent from North Carolina, according to the NCAIED press release. He succeeds Gary Davis, who stepped down in August after four years on the job.

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