Rose named Oklahoma Policy Institute executive director

06/27/2019 08:45 AM
Main Cherokee Phoenix
Ahniwake Rose
TULSA – The Oklahoma Policy Institute announced on June 26 that Cherokee Nation citizen Ahniwake Rose has been chosen to lead the organization as its next executive director.

Rose, who is serving as deputy director and interim executive director of the National Congress of American Indians in Washington, D.C., will replace longtime director David Blatt, who earlier this year announced his intention to step down this fall.

“Assuming the role of the executive director of the Oklahoma Policy Institute is an absolute honor, and I am extremely excited to join the talented OK Policy team,” Rose said in an OPI release. “Together we will continue to ensure all Oklahomans have the opportunity to thrive, and I appreciate the confidence that the board of directors has placed in me.”

Rose was selected from a field of over 50 applicants, according to the release.

“The search committee was incredibly pleased by the highly talented candidate pool, and we are delighted that the board voted unanimously to extend an offer to Ahniwake to be OK Policy’s next leader,” board Vice Chairwoman Felicia Collins Correia said in the release. She and former Chairwoman Ann-Clore Duncan led the search committee. “The board looks forward to working with Ahniwake as OK Policy continues to inform Oklahomans with critical objective data.”

According to the release, Rose will assume the position in August. Blatt will continue at OK Policy through October to help ensure a smooth transition, the release states.

“With Ahniwake taking over as executive director, I am highly confident that OK Policy will continue to build on its success and cement its role as Oklahoma’s indispensable source of credible information and effective advocacy,” Blatt said.

Rose said she extends her gratitude to Blatt for his “remarkable leadership” and looks forward
to working with him during the transition.

An Owasso native, Rose’s professional career has involved nearly two decades of leadership experience in nonprofits and civil rights, according to the release. After five years as legislative analyst and policy director for the NCAI, she became executive director of the National Indian Education Association, where she served from 2012-18.

According to the release, she most recently returned to the NCAI as its deputy director and interim executive director. She has also worked for Nortel Government Solutions and the American Red Cross.

The release states Rose earned a bachelor’s degree in communication studies from Arizona State University and a master’s degree in organizational communication from Bowling Green University.

“I’m excited about the next chapter for OK Policy as we build on the solid foundation David has established,” Don Millican, OK Policy board chairman, said. “Ahniwake has the background and leadership skills perfectly suited to continue expanding OK Policy’s impact toward a brighter tomorrow for all Oklahomans.”

According to the release, OK Policy works to advance fiscal responsibility and expanded opportunity for all Oklahomans through non-partisan research, analysis and advocacy. Launched in 2008, it has grown in recent years and has a full-time staff of 17 people and a $1.8 million annual budget.


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