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News Release

[email protected]

For Immediate Release

Jorie Ayyu Paoli


August 19, 2016

ANCHORAGE, Alaska – First Alaskans Institute (FAI) is pleased to announce that Jorie Ayyu Paoli (Iñupiaq) is increasing her leadership role to Vice President & Director of Organizational Advancement. This recognition allows her to take on more responsibility for the organization while continuing to strengthen our newest initiative area that focuses on administration and the dynamics of indigenizing our work and relationships in our community. Since coming to First Alaskans in 2010 as the Policy & Research Coordinator, she has continued to strengthen herself through increasing levels of responsibility, including the past two years where she has been serving as the director of the initiative.

“This role increase acknowledges Jorie’s important contributions to the work we do,” said Elizabeth Medicine Crow (Haida/Tlingit), President/CEO of First Alaskans Institute. “Her strength and wisdom, as well as her dedication to the advancement of our peoples, is an absolute asset and gift to work alongside.  Congratulations and quyanaqpak, Jorie, you bring so much to us!”

“I feel that our individual gifts and strengths belong to our community, and that it’s our responsibility to grow them in service to our people,” Jorie said. “I am both humbled and excited by the opportunity to do this critical work on behalf of our community, and feel blessed to serve in this way.”

Jorie grew up between Anchorage and Uŋalaqłiq (Unalakleet), and is a tribal member of the Native Village of Unalakleet. She credits her time with her grandparents Stanton & Irene Katchatag, parents Doug & Vernita Herdman, family and community for the foundation of Iñupiaq and Native values that strengthen her work, every single day. She is a proud wife and mother of four incredible children, and attributes much of her dedication and passion for working toward the strength and well being of Alaska Native communities to them.

Jorie received her BA in Organizational Management with a Nonprofit Emphasis from Alaska Pacific University. She has earned a Nonprofit Management Certificate from the Foraker Group and is an Alumna of Leadership Anchorage. Prior to her work with FAI, she worked with Cook Inlet Tribal Council for nine years, serving most recently as the Institutional Advancement Officer focused on fundraising, strategic and sustainability planning.

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First Alaskans Institute, a statewide Native nonprofit, upholds our vision of Progress for the next 10,000 years… through work in four major initiative areas: Leadership Development, Community Engagement, Organizational Advancement and the Alaska Native Policy Center.

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Jorie Ayyu Paoli Named Vice President  – media release (pdf)