Greg Masten hired as new NWIC director of development

This summer, Northwest Indian College selected Greg Masten, a member of the Yurok Tribe, as the new director of the college’s Development Office.

“I am very excited to be a part of the Northwest Indian College Foundation team,” Masten said. “I accepted this position because I believe very strongly in tribal sovereignty and empowering tribal nations and their members through education. This perfectly matches the mission of Northwest Indian College.”

In his new position, Masten’s overarching goal will be to support student success. He will accomplish this by working directly with the NWIC Foundation to plan, develop, coordinate, manage and implement various fundraising strategies and activities.

More specifically, Masten will: manage the investment portfolio with the Foundation; provide support to donors of scholarships and endowments; plan and coordinate various fundraising activities and events, such as NWIC’s Big Drive for Education Golf Scramble and TL’aneq’; and provide support to the President’s Office for NWIC’s $44 million capital campaign, which has led to significant campus growth and improvements to the college’s infrastructure since it began in 2005.

NWIC President Justin Guillory said the college is fortunate to have someone of Masten’s caliber – with his local and national tribal education experience – join the NWIC team. Guillory said Masten has the disposition and the skill set to communicate the mission of the college to a broad spectrum of people, and the ability to influence and increase the college’s fundraising efforts.

“Since the day he first started, I have been impressed with his enthusiasm, creative ideas and willingness to jump right in and help our team move forward on our capital campaign efforts,” Guillory said. “Greg has a passion for tribal education and seeing tribal communities flourish, and I look forward to seeing great things out of the Development Office as a result of his leadership.”

Before joining the NWIC team, Masten worked for the Hoopa Valley Tribe for seven years. For five of those years, Masten was the tribe’s Education Director, as which he oversaw the Tribe’s 17 education programs including, Early Childhood Education, K-12 Supplementary Programs, Learning Center, College Prep, Vocational, and their college campus. Additionally, for the past year Masten has served as the President of the Tribal Education Department’s National Assembly.

Masten has worked with tribes across the nation on education initiatives affecting policy, program development, student success, and securing resources to support their efforts of nation building.

“I have particularly advocated for many years that education must include tribal values, context, and citizenry,” Masten said. “This is why I believe NWIC is unlike any other institution in the west, because it provides an education that reinforces the ideals of tribal sovereignty and the empowerment of Native people.”

Masten said it is time for tribes to include education in their definition of sovereignty; therefore it is essential to have an institution such as NWIC because it provides tribal context and the familiarity that Native students need to succeed.

“NWIC is a home away from home and is truly a ‘sanctuary of learning’ for our students” he said.  “Throughout recent history, Native people have been told what education should look like, what we should teach, and what success is. But I believe that it is time for tribal nations to define education as it aligns with their values, goals and ideologies in this new global economy.”

Masten said NWIC’s recent growth – campus expansion and the addition of two bachelor’s degrees – supports the evolving needs of tribes and their members.

“I am very excited about the new Bachelor degrees NWIC is offering and to be a part of the birth of a university, Masten said. “I am honored to share this vision and become a part of the NWIC team and I will use all of the abilities given to me by my Creator to help provide the tools and resources that the college and our students need to succeed.”

In addition to being a member of the Yurok Tribe, Masten is also a descendant of the Hupa and Karuk tribes. His original family village is Mor’ek and he moved from northern California to join NWIC.

“I come from a long line of leaders that have been involved in tribal issues for many years,” Masten said. “I owe all that I am and have to my Creator and my family and heritage, and I honor them by dedicating my life to education to help empower our greatest resource: our children and students.”

Masten can be reached at (360) 392-4211 or gmasten@nwic.edu.