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North Dakota Education Leader Appointed Chair of The NEA Foundation Board of Directors

North Dakota Education Leader Appointed Chair of The NEA Foundation Board of Directors

WASHINGTON, D.C. (December 12, 2023) – The NEA Foundation is proud to welcome Nick Archuleta as the new chair of The NEA Foundation Board of Directors. Archuleta is president of North Dakota United, formerly North Dakota Education Association (NDEA), and has served on the Foundation’s board since 2016, most recently as vice chair. His two-year term as board chair began on September 1.

“Although NEA Foundation board members come from different places and professional backgrounds, we all share a common passion to lift up the educator profession, celebrate educators, and contribute to the equity and diversity of the school communities our kids call home,” Archuleta said. “It is an honor to lead the board of an organization that does such important work to strengthen public education and ensure that all students have the opportunity to learn, grow, and thrive.”

“I am delighted that The NEA Foundation has such a powerful, veteran advocate for educators and public education as the leader of its board,” said Sara A. Sneed, president and CEO of The NEA Foundation. “Nick Archuleta’s dedication to serve educators and his impact as a union leader and NEA Foundation board member have been felt throughout the country!”

Elected president of the NDEA in 2013, Archuleta guided the merger of NDEA with the North Dakota Public Employee Association which led to the creation of North Dakota United. Over the past 10 years, he has led North Dakota United as the public voice for all North Dakotans who provide the vital public services that the state’s citizens have come to expect.

In addition, Archuleta, an enrolled member of the Three Affiliated Tribes, serves on the National Education Association’s (NEA) Minority Leadership Training/Women’s Leadership Training planning team, and NEA Human and Civil Rights committee. He also served on the NDEA Board of Directors and as the former vice chairman of the North Dakota Education Standards and Practices Board, having been appointed by former Governor John Hoeven and by Governor Jack Dalrymple.

Archuleta succeeds outgoing chair Valeria Lassiter, who will serve as immediate past chair of the Foundation for one year.

The NEA Foundation Board of Directors also has named Oleta Garrett Fitzgerald, director of the Children’s Defense Fund’s Southern Regional Office, as vice chair and welcomed new board members Tia Dowdell and Stuart Lucas. Dowdell is a relationship manager and vice president for the Bank of America Global Commercial Bank in the Healthcare, Education, and Not-For-Profit specialty group. Lucas is co-managing partner for Wealth Strategist Partners in Chicago, Illinois.

The Foundation offers its deepest appreciation also to Dr. Jerome Paige for his leadership and dedicated service during his term of service on the board, which concluded in August.


Editor’s Note: Please use our correct name, The NEA Foundation. The “NEA” is never spelled out. Many thanks!

About the NEA Foundation

The NEA Foundation is a national philanthropic organization that invests in educators’ leadership, shared learning and collaboration; supports partnerships and initiatives that strengthen public education; and promotes improvements in public education policy and practice. Find us at, Facebook and Twitter.