Benny Shendo

Chairman of the Board

Jemez Pueblo

Benny Shendo, Jr., is a member of the Jemez Pueblo Tribe. He was elected Chairman of the Board of First Nations Development Institute in June 2016 after serving many years as a Board member. In fall 2023, Mr. Shendo was appointed associate vice chancellor for Native American affairs for the University of Colorado Boulder, a newly created position.

Over the years, Mr. Shendo has served in various capacities of management and leadership in business, tribal, university, and state government. Currently, he serves as a New Mexico State Senator and as Tribal Administrator for the Jemez Pueblo Tribe. He is a former New Mexico Cabinet Secretary for the Department of Indian Affairs; 1st and 2nd Lieutenant Governor, Pueblo of Jemez; and assistant dean of students at Stanford University.

Mr. Shendo was selected as a Fellow by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation’s National Leadership Program from 1997-2000.  In 2004, he received the Mary G. Ross Award from the Council of Energy Resource Tribes for professional achievements. In 2007, Mr. Shendo received the First American Public Advocate Award in recognition of Outstanding Leadership and Contributions made to American Indian economic and business development by The National Center for American Indian Enterprise Development.  He started the first charter school in Jemez Pueblo (K-8) in 1999.

Mr. Shendo is a graduate of the University of Colorado Boulder, College of Business.

  • Read our newsletter story about Mr. Shendo here.
  • Read the Chairman’s Letter from the 2017 Annual Report here.