News and Events

News Archive


Posted: 4/23/2020

The Morris K. Udall & Stewart L. Udall Foundation (Udall Foundation) and the Native Nations Institute for Leadership, Management, and Policy at the University of Arizona (NNI) are pleased to announce the selection of the 2020 Native American Congressional Interns. The program’s newest class of Udall Interns comprises 12 students representing 12 Tribes and eight universities from around the country. The Udall Interns were selected by an independent review committee on the basis of academic achievement, leadership, and demonstrated commitment to careers in Tribal public policy.

The Udall Foundation’s Native American Congressional Internship Program, funded and comanaged by NNI, provides Native American and Alaska Native undergraduate, graduate, and law students with the opportunity to gain practical experience with the Federal legislative process in order to understand firsthand the government-to-government relationship between Tribes and the Federal Government. Udall Interns are placed in Senate, House, and Federal agency offices in Washington, D.C., for an intensive nine-week summer program. Additional professional development and enrichment activities are hosted throughout the internship program and provide opportunities for the Udall Interns to meet and network with key decision makers. From 1996 through 2019, 278 Native American and Alaska Native students from 124 Tribes have participated in the Native American Congressional Internship program.

However, in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Udall Foundation and NNI have made the difficult decision to cancel the 2020 Udall Internship program. As a result, all of the 2020 Udall Interns have been offered spots in the 2021 program.

“While we are obviously disappointed by the need to cancel the Udall Internship this summer, it’s important that we take the time to recognize the 2020 Udall Interns for their achievements and to celebrate their impressive work in, and commitment to, Indian Country,” said Dr. David Brown, the Udall Foundation’s Executive Director. “We welcome them to our growing community of program alumni and look forward to engaging all of our 2020 Udall Interns in the program next summer.”

In the interim, staff from the Udall Foundation and NNI are working together to provide the 2020 Udall Interns with online professional development and networking opportunities to keep the class connected and supported.

“The Native Nations Institute extends its congratulations to the 2020 Udall Interns. We look forward to the opportunity to work and engage with the Udall Interns, albeit virtually, as they expand their knowledge about Indigenous governance and how that intersects with Federal policy,” said Joan Timeche, NNI Executive Director.

The 2020 Udall Interns are:

  • Alayah C. Johnson-Jennings, Quapaw Tribe of Indians, Dartmouth College
  • Caitlin E. Wanic, Bay Mills Indian Community, Dartmouth College
  • Dustin A. Rector, White Mountain Apache Tribe of the Fort Apache Reservation, Arizona State University
  • Erika A. Salinas, Comanche Nation, University of Southern California
  • Garrett W. Briggs, Southern Ute Indian Tribe of the Southern Ute Reservation, Northern Arizona University
  • Hilary Edwards, Swinomish Indians of the Swinomish Reservation, Arizona State University
  • Imani M. Hicks, Pechanga Band of Luiseno Mission Indians of the Pechanga Reservation, Duke University
  • Janae A. Harris, Arapahoe Tribe of the Wind River Reservation, Dartmouth College
  • Kenadi R. Mayo, Lac du Flambeau Band of Lake Superior, University of Wisconsin-Madison
  • Stephanie M. Lefthand, Pueblo of Taos, Baylor University
  • Tyra M. West, Navajo Nation, Ohio Valley University
  • Womsikuk James, Wampanoag Tribe of Gay Head (Aquinnah) of Massachusetts, Dartmouth College

Learn more about the Congressional Internship Program and meet the 2020 Udall Interns.

The Udall Internship honors the legacies of Morris K. Udall and Stewart L. Udall, whose careers had a significant impact on Native American self-governance and health care, as well as the stewardship of public lands and natural resources.

For additional information about the Native Nations Institute and the Udall Internship program, please contact Bret Muter at

Back to the News and Announcements Archive