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Board of Directors

Andrea Bent, Co-Founder and CEO

Raised in Chicago, Illinois, Andrea Bent holds degrees in political science and law. Following work in public interest law and community justice in Chicago, Andrea and her husband relocated to Jackson Hole in 2004, where Andrea has been active in philanthropic and conservation organizations ranging from the Grand Teton National Park Foundation to the Greater Yellowstone Coalition. After a decade in Jackson, she began working in partnership with community leaders on the Wind River Indian Reservation. Seeking to formalize opportunities for collaboration and develop ongoing support for indigenous leaders, Andrea co-founded the Wind River Foundation in 2017.

Sara R. Robinson, Co-Founder

Sara Robinson, an enrolled member of the Eastern Shoshone Tribe, has spent her career advocating for indigenous clients across all areas of government, law and litigation. She has been an elected Tribal Business Council Member for the Eastern Shoshone Tribe, was appointed Eastern Shoshone Tribal Liaison to the Governor of the State of Wyoming, served as longtime public defender for the State of Wyoming and Fremont County, and was deputy prosecuting attorney of Fremont County, Wyoming. She founded and developed the New’e Development Corporation on the Wind River Reservation. While serving as the lead tribal attorney for the Indian Law Project of Nevada Legal Services, she co-founded the Wind River Foundation. Since that time, she has served as the lead public defender for the MHA Nation on the Fort Berthold Reservation in North Dakota. Currently, Sara is the lead prosecutor for the Wind River Tribal Court. A credentialed teacher and court-approved mediator, Sara is a member of the US Commission for Civil Rights, Wyoming Advisory Committee and a member of the Board of Trustees of the University of Wyoming, where she earned her BA and JD.

Lacy Crawford

Lacy began her career in nonprofit strategy and communications in London, England, serving the BBC World Service Trust, the international development arm of the BBC World Service. She has worked on both the programming and grantmaking sides of educational, environmental, and youth-oriented philanthropic efforts. She was hired to develop and direct the Burberry Foundation, the corporate foundation of the luxury retail brand headquartered in London, overseeing grantmaking and volunteer programs for thousands of employees and local charities around the world. She is also a published author of fiction (Morrow) and nonfiction (Little, Brown), and her work has appeared in the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, and elsewhere. Lacy holds degrees from Princeton and the University of Chicago.

Staff

Andi Clifford, Director of Wind River based Operations and Programing

An enrolled member of the Northern Arapaho Tribe, Andi has served Northern Arapaho communities in educational, management, and philanthropic roles. She has worked as a trainer with Americorps to meet Arapaho housing needs and with indigenous students on and off the Reservation, has taught extensively on the Reservation, served as a Fremont County Commissioner and is a longtime leader of volunteering and community development trainings. Following more than a decade of work with the Wind River Hotel and Casino, during which time Andi rose to assistant general manager, she ran for and won election to the Wyoming State Legislature, House District 33. She has served as a board member on the Wyoming Humanities Council and the Wind River Tribal College. She holds BS and MPA degrees from the University of Wyoming.

Susan Erikson-Meier, Director of Jackson based Operations and Programing

Susan is a three-decade Jackson resident with a long history of community leadership. She served on the Jackson Hole Chamber of Commerce for six years, acting as chair of the Membership Committee. Past positions include executive director of the Community Children’s Project, development director for the Art Association, and senior program officer for the Community Foundation of Jackson Hole. She holds degrees in education and environmental science from the University of Massachusetts and the Antioch New England Graduate School, and is a graduate of the Excellence in Nonprofit Management Certificate Program through the University of Wisconsin. Susan is also licensed by the Standards for Excellence Institute and certified in board education by BoardSource.

Advisory Board

Sunny Goggles, Co-Founder

Sunny, an enrolled member of the Northern Arapahoe Tribe, is co-founder of the Wind River Foundation. Currently the Director of the White Buffalo Recovery center, Sunny has served her community on the Wind River Reservation as a mental health mentor, family service coordinator, and probation officer and counselor to juveniles.  As an employee of the Shoshone and Arapaho Tribal Substance Abuse Court, Sunny worked to integrate substance abuse treatment and the court process.  She has been a member of the Northern Arapaho High Priority Performance Goal (HPPG) Initiative Community Committee and established the Coalition for Change, which later merged with the HPPG group to become the Community Partnerships Against Crime and Substance Abuse (CPACS).  Since 2012 she has served as an adviser for the Wind River United Indian National Tribal Youth (UNITY) Council. She has testified before the Senate Committee of Indian Affairs, to inform about the dangers of drug and alcohol abuse; served as a member on the Wyoming State Advisory Council on Juvenile Justice; the Law and Order Criminal Code Revision Team and is a member of the National Drug Court Professional Association, Tribal Committee.  Her additional positions include her membership on the Wyoming State Behavioral Health Advisory Council and her leadership as Chairperson of the Chemical Dependency Directors Association. Sunny holds a BS in psychology and a BA in sociology from the University of North Dakota.

Jason Baldes

Jason, an enrolled member of the Eastern Shoshone Tribe, received both his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in land resources and environmental sciences from Montana State University, where he has focused on the reintroduction of buffalo to Tribal lands. In 2016, he spearheaded the successful effort to relocate a herd to the Wind River Indian Reservation, a project decades in the making, undertaken in collaboration with the Eastern Shoshone Tribe, National Wildlife Federation and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. He is an advocate, educator and speaker on indigenous cultural revitalization and ecological restoration who has also served as director of the Wind River Native Advocacy Center, where he was instrumental in the passing of the Wyoming Indian Education for All Act. He currently serves as the Tribal Buffalo Coordinator for the National Wildlife Federation’s Tribal Lands Partnership Program.

Michael Kasdin

Michael Kasdin is a Chicago-based partner of the international law firm Foley & Lardner. He is admitted to practice in Illinois, including before the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois and the Central District of Illinois. He is also admitted before the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Wisconsin, the U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado, the U.S. Courts of Appeals for the Fifth, Seventh and Eleventh Circuits, and the Seneca Nation of Indians. He has been nominated to receive the Maurice Weigle Exceptional Young Lawyer Award and has received several honors in recognition of his pro bono service, including the Chicago Volunteer Legal Services Foundation Distinguished Service Award. He has been named a “Rising Star” in Illinois Super Lawyers magazine each year from 2013 and 2017. He was also included in the Chicago Daily Law Bulletin’s “Forty Under 40” list in 2016. Michael’s legal work has extended to representing indigenous clients in tribal and federal courts. Contributing to his knowledge and experience of indigenous communities, Michael’s wife and children are enrolled members of the Seneca Nation of Indians. His other philanthropic roles include sitting as a board member of the Legal Aid Society of Metropolitan Family Services.

Geoffrey O’Gara

Geoffrey is a writer and documentary producer based in Lander, WY. He was formerly senior producer at Wyoming PBS, and now heads a Wyoming film production company, The Content Lab, LLC. His books include What You See in Clear Water (Knopf), A Long Road Home (W.W. Norton) and The National Geographic Outdoor Guide to the Far West. He was formerly editor and publisher of High Country News and a contributing editor to National Geographic Traveler. He has written and/or produced documentaries on Will Rogers, Wyoming wildlife migrations, Dick Cheney, and Yellowstone tourism, among other subjects. He earned a B.A. from Pomona College and was a Kellogg Fellow at the University of Michigan. He has won regional Emmys, the National Newspaper Association prize for best small newspaper, and the National Education Television Association award for public affairs programing.

Tarissa Spoonhunter, PhD 

Tarissa Spoonhunter, PhD, is an enrolled member of the Northern Arapaho Tribe and a descendant of the Blackfoot Confederacy. Tarissa earned her BA in anthropology at the University of Montana and her MA and PhD in American Indian studies from the University of Arizona. An experienced educator, Tarissa began her teaching career in 2002 at Blackfeet Community College and has taught at the University of Arizona. She served as a policy analyst and researcher for the Blackfeet Tribe and a researcher and consultant for the Native Nations Institute. The recipient of several awards, Tarissa was awarded the Excellence in Graduate Studies Fellowship in Social Sciences at the University of Arizona and was named a 2018 Emerging Scholar for Diverse Issues in Higher Education. Tarissa currently serves as a Professor of American Indian Studies at Central Wyoming College in Riverton and holds an adjunct position at the Wind River Tribal College in Ethete, Wyoming. 

Red Thunder Gabriel Spoonhunter

Bee boh’ooo (“Red Thunder,” Northern Arapaho), Wakinyan Luta (“Red Thunder,” Oglala Lakota)

Red Thunder is an enrolled Northern Arapaho and Oglala Lakota from the Wind River Indian Reservation. He has spent the last 3 years as a member of the AmeriCorps program where he has worked for Ancestral Lands, Southwest Conservation Corps at Grand Teton, Wind River Native Advocacy Center and most recently, at Montana Conservation Corps at Yellowstone, Grand Teton, Glacier National Park and the Battle of Little Bighorn National Monument. Through his Ancestral Lands VISTA program, he was hired as a Field Coordinator with the Montana Conservation Corps (MCC). At MCC he led tribal conservation crews in Yellowstone, Grand Teton and surrounding states culminating in a tribal youth summit held in Yellowstone. Prior to his conservation work, he served as a mentor for the ESCAPE mentorship program on the Wind River Reservation. He is a NOLS alumnus and Wilderness First Responder-trained. Red Thunder is a current student in outdoor education and leadership and environmental science at Central Wyoming College in Riverton.