Staff

Traci Morris, Ph.D.
Director

Dr. Morris, the Director of the American Indian Policy (AIPI) Institute at Arizona State University is a member of the Chickasaw Nation of Oklahoma. Under her leadership, the AIPI has grown and diversified its service to Indian Country providing policy analysis, tribally driven research, and economic development capacity building and working with such Indian Country partners as NAFOA. In her work at both ASU and prior, Morris has worked with Native American nations; Tribal businesses; Native American non-profits; written a college-accredited curriculum; and has advocated for digital inclusion at the Federal Communications Commission and on Capitol Hill.

Morris’s research and publications on Native American media and the digital divide is focused on Internet use, digital inclusion, network neutrality, digital and new media curriculums, digital inclusion and development of broadband networks in Indian Country. Her book, Native American Voices: A Reader, continues to be a primary teaching tool in colleges throughout the country.

Dr. Morris is Affiliated Faculty at ASU's School for the Future of Innovation in Society, an Affiliate of ASU's Center for Gender Equity in Science and Technology, a member of the Advisory Board for the Department of Labor's Native American Employment and Training Council, President of the Board of the Phoenix Indian Center, and on the Advisory Council of the Association of Tribal Archives, Libraries, and Museums.  Formerly, Morris served a two-year appointment (2014-2016 and 2010-2012) to the Federal Communications Commission's Consumer Advisory Committee.

As an entrepreneur prior to her ASU appointment, Morris founded Homahota Consulting LLC, a national Native American woman-owned professional services firm working in policy analysis, telecommunications, education, and research assisting tribes in their nation-building efforts and working with Native Nations, tribal businesses and those businesses working with tribes. 

Morris has an M. A. and Ph.D. from the University of Arizona’s American Indian Studies, in addition to a B.A. in Liberal Arts from Colorado State University.

Pamela Lane Business
Operations & Administrative Support Services Manager

As Operations and Admin Support Services Manager for the American Indian Policy Institute, Pam is responsible for all AIPI Business operations, personnel, and financial administrative activity. Pamela has eighteen years of higher education experience including ASU Purchasing, the Hispanic Research Center, Housing, and Student Life. Pamela is an ASU alumna and has an M.A. from the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences in Liberal Studies and an undergraduate degree in Business Management/Administration from the University of Phoenix. She is community-oriented and enjoys the responsibilities of being an administrator at the American Indian Policy Institute. An Arizona native, Pamela lives in Ahwatukee, Arizona with her husband Kent and son Christopher.  

Brian Howard
Policy and Research Analyst

Brian Howard is a Research & Policy Analyst with the American Indian Policy Institute (AIPI) at Arizona State University. Prior to joining the AIPI team in November 2016, Brian served over five years as a Legislative Associate with the National Congress of American Indians in Washington, DC. Working on behalf of American Indian and Alaska Native tribal governments, Brian’s work included developing and advocating tribal policy initiatives in Congress and the Administration on issues such as Telecommunications, Government Contracting, and Cultural Protections (Sacred Places, Eagle Feather/Eagle Protections, NAGPRA, and Mascot issues). Brian’s work experience has included numerous D.C.-based research and policy internships, as well as with the New Mexico House of Representatives and the Gila River Indian Community Council’s Office.

Brian is on track for a 2020 graduation with an M.S. in Science and Technology Policy, he graduated from the University of New Mexico in 2009 with his Bachelor of Arts degree in Native American Studies focusing on Federal Indian Law and Policy with a minor in Political Science. He is Akimel O’odham, Tohono O’odham, and Pi-Pash, and an enrolled member of the Gila River Indian Community where he grew up in the Komatke District.

 

Mikhail Sundust
Policy Communications Coordinator

Mikhail Sundust is Akimel O'otham and Pee Posh from the Gila River Indian Community. As the Policy Communications Program Coordinator, he supports the American Indian Policy Institute's mission by engaging Native nations, building community partnerships, and inspiring future leaders. 

Mikhail has a Masters Degree in Public Affairs from ASU's Watts College. He worked previously for the Town of Gilbert as an intern in the Town Manager's Office, where he conducted internal research to support management decisions regarding mission direction. Before that, he worked as a journalist for five years with the Gila River Indian News.
Coby Klar 
Graduate Research Assistant
Klar, a member of the United Houma Nation of Southern Louisiana is a second-year master's student in Arizona State University's American Indian Studies--Indigenous Rights and Social Justice program. Prior to ASU, he received his Bachelor's degree in Economics from Grinnell College in 2016. Klar also played baseball at Grinnell, where I lettered three times and was an academic all-conference his senior year. 
In 2019, Klar spent the summer in Washington, D.C. interning with the National Congress of American Indians (NCAI). While at NCAI where much of his work centered around the organization's commitment to ending the era of harmful 'Indian' mascots. Upon completion of the internship window, NCAI asked him to stay on in a remote role, in which he continues to handle much of the day-to-day research and correspondence related to the mascot issue. 
At AIPI, Klar sources, analyzes and summarizes daily Federal Register Notices to be used for AIPI monthly Policy Updates. Additionally, he is researching and writing policy briefs relating to new and existing policies that create opportunities for Tribal communities to bring about more social, cultural, and economic equity to their populations. 

 

JoAnn di Filippo
Grant Writer

JoAnn di Filippo currently serves as a Grant Writer for AIPI and formerly served as the Research Advancement Administrator.  During the past 20 years, di Filippo has worked with American Indian tribes as a business and finance consultant and most recently held the position of Executive Director for the Tohono O’odham Ki:Ki Association (housing authority) located in Sells, Arizona.

Since 2002, di Filippo owned and operated JD & Associates, an Arizona-based consulting firm, responsible for securing over $42 million dollars for federally sponsored projects from the U.S. Departments of Justice/Community Capacity Development Office, Education, Health, HUD, Environmental Protection Agency, and Labor/Employment Training & Administration for community non-profits, Arizona border communities, tribal governments, and K-12 and institutions of higher education.

Prior to consulting, di Filippo served as an instructor at Pima Community College in Tucson, Arizona teaching American Indian Studies courses and grant-writing.  While employed at the University of Arizona, she conducted workshops for graduate students and faculty in grant-writing and human subjects protections.

di Filippo holds an M.A. and Ph.D. from the University of Arizona in Comparative Cultural & Literary Studies, Federal Indian Law & Policy, with minors in Anthropology and Media Arts.  Recently, she completed course work for an M.S. in Addiction Disorders from Grand Canyon University.

Eddie F. Brown (Retired)
Emeritus Executive Director of AIPI & retired professor of American Indian Studies
Dr. Eddie F. Brown has a unique administrative background in that he has worked at the highest administrative levels with federal, state, and tribal governments. He is the former Assistant Secretary of Indian Affairs, United States Department of Interior, Washington, DC (1988-1993). Served as Associate Dean and the Director of the Center for American Indian Studies at the George Warren Brown School of Social Work, Washington University, St. Louis, Missouri (1996- 2004); Executive Director of the Department of Human Services, Tohono O'odham Nation (1993-1996); Director of Arizona Department of Economic Security (1987-1989); and Chief of the Division of Social Services, Bureau of Indian Affairs, Washington, D.C. (1984-1986). Dr. Brown is the former Director of American Indian Studies and former Co-Executive Director of the American Indian Policy Institute at Arizona State University and serves as a member of the U.S. President's Board of Advisors on Tribal Colleges and Universities.

Dr. Brown has directed a variety of research and demonstration projects related to the impact of welfare reform on American Indian families and children, mental health assessment of American Indian youth, diabetes prevention in tribal communities, Title IV- Estate/tribal agreements, and state ICWA compliance issues, and is nationally recognized for his knowledge and skills in working with tribal governments and community programs.

He received his Bachelor of Science degree (1970) from Brigham Young University and his Masters (1972) and Doctorate (1975) in Social Work from the University of Utah.  He is an enrolled member of the Pascua Yaqui Indian Tribe and affiliated with the Tohono O’odham Nation.