Staff


Traci L Morris, PhD
Executive Director

Dr. Morris, the executive 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 NCAI, NAFOA, AISES, and the Indigenous Food and Agriculture Initiative.

In her work at both ASU and prior, Morris has worked with Native American nations; Tribal businesses; and Native American non-profits. Morris is a strong advocate for digital inclusion and has testified 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. Morris spearheaded and co-authored the groundbreaking Tribal Technology Assessment: The State of Internet Service on Tribal Lands in 2019. 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 both ASU's Center for Gender Equity in Science and Technology and ASU’s Center on Technology, Data, and Society, and serves as a Sustainability Scholar in the ASU School of Sustainability. Morris’ community service includes being the elected President of the Board of the Phoenix Indian Center, serving on the AISES Board of Directors 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 and was a member of the Advisory Board for the Department of Labor's Native American Employment and Training Council.

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, MA

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 a Master of Arts from the ASU 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.  

H. Rose Trostle, MUEP
Research Professional

A member of the Cherokee Nation, Trostle [they/them] is an activist and researcher. They are a current Research Professional at the American Indian Policy Institute at Arizona State University and a former Project Manager at the Institute for Local Self-Reliance. Their work on broadband has been featured in media, including High Country News and Ars Technica. In 2021, they released the "Building Indigenous Future Zones" report detailing four case studies on how Native Nations have built internet infrastructure.  Trostle holds a Master’s in Urban and Environmental Planning from Arizona State University, where they focused on Indigenous planning. Their Bachelor's degree in Political Science and Classical Languages is from Macalester College in Saint Paul, Minnesota. Trostle's Macalester capstone paper, "Media, Identity, and Violence: American Indian Occupations 1969 - 1973," was published in Pi Sigma Alpha Undergraduate Journal of Politics in Spring 2015.

E.J. John, JD
Policy & Research Analyst

E.J. recently joined the AIPI team as a Policy & Research Analyst and is a member of the Navajo Nation from Vanderwagen, New Mexico. He received his J.D. from the University of New Mexico School of Law in 2016 with a concentration in Indian Law. Prior to that, E.J. received his Bachelor’s degree in Political Science from the University of New Mexico in 2013. His interest in law and policy came from his time interning in the D.C. office of Senator Jeff Bingaman (D-N.M.) in 2011 as an undergrad. Before coming to the AIPI, E.J. had been working on tribal government reform and development with the Office of Navajo Government Development in Window Rock, AZ.

Sadie Vermillion, JD
Policy Research Assistant

Sadie (Pawnee) is a Policy Research Assistant at the American Indian Policy Institute. She graduated from the University of Denver Sturm College of Law In 2018 with a focus on federal Indian law. She was the Vice President of the Native American Law Students Association (NALSA) from 2015-2017, and the President from 2017-2018.

Sadie grew up in Boulder, Colorado as a member of the Echohawk family of Native activists, and has long been inspired to work within the Native community. She received a Bachelor of Arts with a degree in Gender Studies from the University of Colorado at Boulder, and focused her research primarily on Native American Women and Domestic Violence.  

Sadie's notable accomplishments include being a recipient of the American Indian Achievement Award from the Rocky Mountain Indian Chamber of Commerce in 2015, and the Whittemore Eaglefeather Scholarship at the University of Denver from 2015-2018. Sadie also interned as a guardian ad litem at the Rocky Mountain Children's Law Center in 2017. 

Beth Santistevan, MA
Policy & Communications Program Coordinator

Beth Santistevan joined the American Indian Policy Institute team as the Policy and Communications Program Coordinator. She is an enrolled member of the Southern Ute Indian Tribe and was raised in Ignacio, Colorado. Beth has over a decade of experience working within tribal government. She has worked directly with tribal, local, and state leadership as a communications liaison. Beth has worked for her tribe in many capacities, and because of these experiences, she is a strong advocate for inherent tribal sovereignty.

Beth received her MA in Communications Studies, specializing in Advocacy from Arizona State University (2019). During her time at ASU she was selected to present her research on Tribal elders and alternative medicine at the Spring Colloquium for ASU New College. Her speech, “Entanglements of the Native Soul” was selected for the TEDx ASU West event. 

Beth attained her BA from the University of New Mexico in Communications and Journalism, while at UNM she interned as Assistant to the Producer for Native American Calling.

Kristen Talbert, MA
Indigenous Leadership Academy Program Coordinator

Kristen (Sisseton-Wahpeton Dakota Oyate) is the Project Coordinator for the Indian Leadership Academy at the American Indian Policy Institute. She has twelve years of non-profit, case management, data collection, and teaching experience as well as project and program planning. Her career has focused on the Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA) and connecting American Indian families with resources to provide them with the best outcomes for success.

She has previously served as a St. Paul Urban Representative for the Indian Child Welfare Advisory Council for the Minnesota Department of Human Services. She currently serves as an active member of the Indian Education Advisory Council for the Arizona Department of Education and Vice President of the Tempe Union High School District Indian Education Parent Advisory Committee.

Kristen is currently pursuing her MBA at the W.P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University. She has a MA in K-12 Education from the University of St. Thomas and a BA in American Indian Studies from the University of Minnesota.

JoAnn di Filippo, PhD
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.