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2009-02-26 / Headlines

Elsie Meeks tapped for USDA Director of Rural Development

Rapid City - Democratic Senator Tim Johnson announced Elsie Meeks as his pick for Director and to lead South Dakota's USDA Rural Development office. Meeks, is President and CEO of First Nations Oweesta Corporation (Oweesta), a national Native economic development organization based in Rapid City.

"Elsie's numerous accomplishments are remarkable. She has honorably served South Dakota and the Nation. My recommendation of Elsie to President Obama is a reflection of her extraordinary service, commitment, and unwavering dedication to the Native American community. I know she will use her vast breadth of experience to help our entire state on economic development issues. I look forward to this process moving forward," said Senator Johnson.

For over 20 years, Elsie has been instrumental in leading a movement in Native communities focused on creating opportunities for building assets and wealth, leading to financially self-sufficient Native people and families.

Beginning with her work at the Lakota Fund she has been a strong advocate for Native community development financial institutions (CDFIs) and financial education. Her appointment by President Obama and Senate confirmation is expected in the coming weeks.

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