Emily R. White Hat, J.D.

Vice President, Program Initiatives

Emily R. White Hat, J.D. , (Nape Waste Win, "Good Hand Woman") Sicangu Lakota, from the Aske Gluwipi Tiospaye, was born in Rosebud and grew up in St. Francis, South Dakota. Emily is the Vice President of Programs where she supports tribal colleges and universities to develop and implement projects and assists in capacity building to strengthen educational opportunities for Native students.

Emily earneda juris doctorate and a natural resources law certificate from the University of New Mexico School of Law. She has a bachelor’s degree in forestry with a concentration in fire science and a minor in rangeland ecology from Colorado State University, and an associate of arts degree in Lakota history and culture from Sinte Gleska University.

Her experience as a former firefighter, emergency medical technician, policy researcher, evaluator, and legal background have all been vital to her work in program development and implementation, strategic planning, national outreach, qualitative research, writing, curriculum implementation, and evaluation with tribal nations and colleges and using a capacity-building approach. Emily enjoys quilting, beading, horseback riding, and hot yoga.

In 2015, Emily was recognized by the National Center for American Indian Enterprise Development as one of the “Native American 40 Under 40” award recipients. Emily currently serves as a board member for the Thunder Valley Community Development Corporation in Porcupine, S.D., a Lakota organization focused on creating systemic change through regenerative community development.