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Elsie Meeks

Native American Community Development Expert and Chair. Appointed in 2009 by President Barack Obama as State Director of USDA Rural Development in South Dakota

Elsie Meeks was appointed in 2009 by President Barack Obama as state director of USDA Rural Development in South Dakota. Prior to her appointment, Meeks was the president and CEO of First Nations Oweesta Corporation, a Native asset and wealth-building organization. She has over 20 years of experience working in Native community development. Prior to…

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Elsie Meeks was appointed in 2009 by President Barack Obama as state director of USDA Rural Development in South Dakota. Prior to her appointment, Meeks was the president and CEO of First Nations Oweesta Corporation, a Native asset and wealth-building organization. She has over 20 years of experience working in Native community development.

Prior to joining the USDA, Ms. Meeks was the president and CEO of First Nations Oweesta Corporation and was active in the development and management of The Lakota Funds, a small business and microenterprise development loan fund CDFI on the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota. Ms. Meeks served on the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, completing a six-year term. She is a past director of the Northwest Area Foundation based in St. Paul, Minnesota and has served as a director and council member of several Native American organizations.

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