First Nations VP Takes on New Role to Support Indigenous Knowledge Leaders

Congratulations, Raymond Foxworth!

Raymond Foxworth, Ph.D.

Dear Friends, Supporters, and Allies,

First Nations is honored to announce that Raymond Foxworth, Ph.D., First Nations’ Vice President of Grantmaking, Development, and Communications, will embark on a new chapter in his career, bringing further benefit to Indian Country and its resilience and vitality.

Beginning April 3, 2023, Raymond will join the Henry Luce Foundation as the Program Director for Indigenous Knowledge. In this role, he will support the foundation in its overall mission to enrich public discourse by promoting innovative scholarship, cultivating new leaders, and fostering international understanding.

Specifically, he will lead initiatives to support Native knowledge keepers who seek to preserve and perpetuate their nations’ cultures and cultural, intellectual, and policy systems.

Investing in Indian Country and strengthening philanthropy has been a focus for Raymond throughout his 16-year career at First Nations. In 2018, he helped form First Nations’ Luce Indigenous Knowledge Fellowship, which is designed to identify, support, and convene Native American knowledge holders and knowledge makers who embody exceptional creativity, and progressive and critical thinking.

During his tenure at First Nations, Raymond developed, launched, and led numerous programs, as well as multiple studies and convenings to shed light on the current state of funding to Native communities and advocate for greater equity and inclusion within the philanthropic sector to advance Native sovereignty. He also led First Nations in the writing, publishing, and curating of research reports, elevating community perspectives with the goal of challenging current practices to encourage greater investment in Indian Country.

Raymond joined First Nations as a Program Officer in 2007, implementing programs and research projects to strengthen Native food systems, family economic security, and the nonprofit sector in Indian Country. He was promoted to Deputy Director in 2013, and to Vice President of Grantmaking, Development, and Communications in 2014.

In 2021, Raymond was also a visiting scholar in the political science department at the University of New Mexico, where he engaged in the completion of his original research on Indigenous politics in the United States and Latin America, focusing on Indigenous well-being, sovereignty, and autonomy, along with political participation and civic engagement.

First Nations’ President and CEO Michael Roberts says Raymond’s contributions have been a guiding force both programmatically and financially for First Nations and the advancement of Native communities.

“This transition not only represents a new role for Raymond, but also a huge opportunity for Indian Country overall. Raymond will be on the front lines identifying Native leaders and making sure they get the visibility and support they need to highlight and sustain Native knowledge and cultures,” Mike says.

All of us at First Nations are excited for Raymond and this next chapter of his career. We thank him for his years of service, his vision for First Nations, and his sound guidance, perspective, and direction as First Nations has grown and evolved through the years.

Raymond shares that it has been an incredible honor to serve Native communities during his time at First Nations:

“The work of First Nations and my incredible colleagues over the years has played such an important role in my professional and personal life—this includes those inside and outside of First Nations and especially those doing hard and important work in their communities. I have learned so much and formed so many relationships and friendships that I will cherish. I want to thank everyone who has been part of the journey during my time at First Nations—it has been fun (mostly!). I am excited to continue to support Native communities in my new role at the Henry Luce Foundation, investing in the wonderful brilliance of Indian Country.”

With Raymond’s departure, the organization will pivot leadership roles of our 42-year-old organization to best serve our partners and communities. Catherine Bryan will continue her role as Director of Programs for Strengthening Tribal and Community Institutions, and will serve as Vice President of Grantmaking, Communications, and Administration. A-dae Romero-Briones will continue her role as Director of Programs for Nourishing Native Foods and Health, and will serve as Vice President of Policy and Research and the California Tribal Fund.

With this investment in staff and strategic vision for the future, we will continue to be a steady force for Native communities, leading with transparency throughout this transition and beyond. We look forward to keeping you informed as these and other leadership opportunities take hold.

First Nations’ board and staff will celebrate Raymond’s new ventures while we forever remember his many contributions over the last 16 years. As we look to the future, our energy, eagerness, and commitment to serve Native communities and our partners will continue uninterrupted.

Thank you all for your ongoing support. If you have any questions, please reach out to us