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MEET THE BOARD MEMBERS

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ROBERTA JAVIER

President

Roberta Javier was born in Nampa, Idaho, and grew up in Arizona, Oklahoma, and California. Her ancestors are Cherokee and Sac and Fox. From 1958, when she was six years old, to 1968, Roberta was raised in Los Angeles County foster homes. During those years, she was strictly forbidden to explore her Native heritage or connect with other Natives. She married at age 16 and raised a son and three daughters. Once her children were grown, Roberta returned to school, receiving a Bachelor's degree in Social Welfare from the University of California, Berkeley, in 2005 and a Master's degree in Social Work from California State University, Los Angeles, in 2009. She then worked in the American Indian Unit of Los Angeles County's Department of Children and Family Services for 12 years, retiring in 2018. Since then, Roberta has continued to volunteer to improve the lives of Native families, especially of children in foster care. 

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LAURA ESCOBAR

Secretary

Born and raised in Los Angeles, Laura Escobar is a citizen of the Muskogee Nation, and a descendant of survivors of the Trail of Tears and the Indian Relocation Act, as well as from migrant workers. She is an active community member, serving as an organizer and in other roles for causes she believes in, including improving the well-being of Native American families in Southern California. 

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KATHLEEN ASHELFORD

Manager, Communications & Outreach

Kathleen Ashelford is a citizen of the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe. Her involvement in Native organizations includes leadership roles in the American Indian Science & Engineering Society (AISES). She co-founded the California AISES Professionals Chapter and serves as its chapter secretary. Before entering the nonprofit world through a term in Americorps, her previous career included 20 years in the information technology industry, followed by work in the learning and development profession. Kathleen has a Master of Arts in Organizational Leadership from Biola University and a Project Management Professionals (PMP) credential from the Project Management Institute (PMI) International. She is earning a grant-writing certification through the Grant Professionals Association. She and her husband are active members of the Los Angeles Astronomical Society, for which they also volunteer.  

At-Large Board Member

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