Governor names two new members to Board of Regents

A Northern Arizona University graduate and a former legislator from Yuma will join the Arizona Board of Regents.

Gov. Janet Napolitano named Bob McLendon and LuAnn Leonard to the board on Tuesday. Upon confirmation by the Arizona Senate, McLendon will serve a term that will expire in 2012, and Leonard will serve a term that will expire in 2016.

“We are delighted to have two representatives from rural Arizona serve on the board, and we welcome them both,” said NAU President John Haeger.

Since 2002, Leonard has served as executive director of the Hopi Education Endowment Fund, serving previously in the Office of the Chairman of the Hopi Tribe and as director of the Office of Youth Affairs for the Tribe. She is a graduate of NAU and Arizona State University, and is a member of the Hopi Tribe from the village of Sichomovi and a descendant of the Tohono O’odham Nation.

She is the first Native American to serve on the Arizona Board of Regents.

“LuAnn Leonard is an excellent public servant who will bring a critical perspective to the Board of Regents,” Napolitano said. “One of the most important missions for higher education in Arizona will be to expand opportunities for students in rural and tribal areas. LuAnn will bring great expertise to those missions in particular, as well as an impressive background in educational policy.”

McLendon, of Yuma, served in the Arizona House of Representatives from 1983 until 2001, where he served for a time as House Democratic leader. Subsequently, he served on the Yuma County Board of Supervisors before retiring from elected office in 2004. From 1961 until 1998, McLendon taught American history and government at Yuma High School. He holds a bachelor’s and master’s degree from Arizona State University.

“Throughout his service as a public official, Bob McLendon has been a strong advocate for educational opportunity for all Arizona children,” Napolitano said. “His passionate belief in the value of education, his policy expertise, and his background in the classroom will make him an excellent member of the Board of Regents.”

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