President Barack Obama announced on Monday, June 28 that he is appointing S. Alan Ray to the National Advisory Council on Indian Education.
Ray is a citizen of the Cherokee Nation, and serves on the Tribe’s Cherokee language immersion school advisory board. An attorney, teacher, and scholar, Ray has served since 2008 as president of Elmhurst College, a four-year liberal arts institution in Elmhurst, IL.
He previously held the position of senior vice provost for the University of New Hampshire. Prior to that, Ray was associate dean for academic affairs at Harvard Law School, in charge of administering faculty hiring and curriculum planning, and also served in a variety of leadership roles in the Harvard University Native American Program.
Working at the intersection of Native American studies, religious studies, and the law, Ray has taught at Boston College, Harvard Divinity School, and Harvard Law School as well as UNH and Elmhurst College. He is a 1978 graduate of St. Thomas Seminary in Denver, CO; earned a master’s degree in theological studies from Harvard Divinity School; and went on to earn an M.A. and Ph.D. in the study of religion from Harvard Graduate School of Arts and Sciences and a J.D. from the University of California, Hastings College of the Law.