Chad Hamill has been selected to serve as the president’s special assistant on Native American Affairs at Northern Arizona University.

Hamill, chair and associate professor of Applied Indigenous Studies, has played a significant role in Native American initiatives including development of the Tribal Leadership Initiative, chairing the Commission for Native Americans, contributing to the design of the Native American Cultural Center and helping create a culture of support for Native American students.

“This is a key role in continuing our long-standing commitment as a leading university serving Native American students,” said NAU President Rita Cheng. “Chad’s experience and relationships make him an outstanding candidate for this position, and will deepen our ties with our tribal partners across Arizona.”

Cheng said the move is part of the university’s efforts to strengthen its outreach to Native American communities, identify opportunities to collaborate, build on recruitment efforts and improve retention.

In his role as chair of Applied Indigenous Studies, Hamill furthered the department’s mission to serve indigenous communities in the United States and abroad. He established international partnerships with universities in Melbourne and Tasmania that focus on collaborative education and research, increasing NAU’s capacity and providing momentum that shaped the Tribal Leadership Initiative, a multifaceted program supporting present and future leaders toward Native Nation building.

“NAU is unique in its explicit commitment to be a leading university serving Native Americans and great strides have been made toward that goal,” said Hamill, a descendant of the Spokane Tribe. “My role will be to work with the president, colleagues, and our tribal partners to get the job done– increasing recruitment and retention of Native American students, strengthening institutional coordination, and collaborating with tribal communities to build stronger Native nations.”

Prior to joining NAU, Hamill was associate director of the Plateau Center for American Indian Studies at Washington State University, where he expanded relationships with tribal communities in Washington, Idaho and Oregon.

Hamill will succeed Joseph Martin who has served in the position since 2009. Martin will return to NAU’s College of Education as an associate professor of educational leadership.