Leading Trailblazers Join Board of Largest Direct Provider of Native Scholarships

Two new board members bring decades of expertise to expand the impact of Native Forward Scholars Fund.

June 11, 2024
Contact: Jacqueline Lee Rivera
(817) 917-5741


ALBUQUERQUE, NMNative Forward Scholars Fund, the largest direct provider of scholarships to Native students, announced today the appointment of two new members to its Board of Directors. The addition of these two trailblazers, both of whom have made significant contributions across Indian Country, reaffirms Native Forward’s commitment to ensuring equity in higher education for Native students and their communities. Both board members have a history of advancing Native visibility throughout their professional careers:

  • Linda Benally (Diné Nation), Corporate Attorney at Pinnacle West Capital Corporation and member of the American Bar Association Representatives and Observers to the United Nations
  • Victoria Adams (Oglala Lakota), Vice President of Combined Federal Campaign (CFC) Administration for Global Impact

Benally and Adams join the 10 existing Board of Directors in their mission to improve higher education outcomes for Native students. 

“It is a privilege to welcome Linda and Victoria to our board,” said Angelique Albert (Confederated Salish & Kootenai Tribes), CEO of Native Forward Scholars Fund. “A core pillar of our work is to continue supporting scholars during and beyond their higher education journeys, and these women have carried this shared value throughout their careers. Their expertise and experiences will be essential as we continue to maximize our impact as an organization.”  

“I am incredibly honored to join esteemed Indian Country leaders on the Native Forward Board and am grateful for the opportunity to use my experience to support the continued growth of such a meaningful organization,” said Linda Benally. “As a Dine’ Nation citizen, I look forward to working to empower students and prepare the new generation of Native leaders.”

“I am honored to join the Board of Native Forward Scholars Fund and support their mission of advancing educational equity for all Native students,” said Victoria Adams. “I look forward to engaging with my fellow Board members and Native Forward staff on strengthening our commitments to Native scholars and expanding our organizational impact.”



Native Forward Scholars Fund has delivered more funding in direct scholarship dollars and support services to American Indian and Alaska Native students in the U.S. than any other scholarship provider. The Albuquerque-based nonprofit is committed to ensuring that every Native student who wants to pursue higher education has the resources to do so. Over 53 years, it has empowered over 22,000 scholars from more than 500 Tribes in all 50 states and contributed to over 1,700 law degrees and more than 2,200 PhD degrees. Through scholarship funding and holistic support, Native Forward has increased the graduation rates of undergraduate students to 69%, compared to the national average of 41% for Native students, and has boosted the rate for graduate students to 95%. The organization’s alumni are among the most influential Native leaders in the U.S., including Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland, Pulitzer Prize finalist Tommy Orange, and Dr. Cynthia Chavez Lamar, Director of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian.  

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