New Director Named for GW’s AT&T Center for Indigenous Politics and Policy

Elizabeth Rule, who has served as the center’s assistant director, will now lead its programs and research.

April 29, 2020

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Elizabeth Rule began her role as the director of the AT&T Center for Indigenous Politics and Policy on May 1.

The George Washington University has named Elizabeth Rule as the new director of the AT&T Center for Indigenous Politics and Policy (CIPP).

Dr. Rule, who previously served as the center’s assistant director, started in the new job on May 1.

In her new role, Dr. Rule oversees CIPP’s educational programs including the Native American Political Leadership Program and the INSPIRE Pre-College Program. The programs offer scholarships to undergraduate, graduate and high school students to learn about the public policy decision-making process as well as intergovernmental relations between tribal governments and the federal government.

A member of the Chickasaw Nation, Dr. Rule will also spearhead the center’s effort to shed light on Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women as a lead researcher and director of programming.

"It has been my pleasure to serve as the assistant director of the AT&T Center for Indigenous Politics and Policy for the past three years, and I now look forward to continuing the important work of the center and expanding in new directions as the director,” she said. “My goal as director is to serve Indian Country and support tribal sovereignty through a combination of cutting-edge research, education initiatives for Native youth and thought leadership on pressing political and policy issues."

Additionally, Dr. Rule teaches on the GW faculty as an assistant professor of professional studies and also serves as the academic director of the Semester in Washington Politics Program and a Faculty in Residence.

While at GW, she has also served as the principal investigator worked on several of the center’s research projects.

Last summer, she led the center’s creation of Indigenous D.C., a mobile app that provides a digital map of landmarks with historical, political and cultural connections to Native Americans. She also investigated barriers to justice in tribal courts, which resulted in the development of the Code of Ethics, Professionalism and Culture for Tribal Courts Advocates the same years.

"We are pleased and excited to have Elizabeth take on this new role as director of the AT&T Center for Indigenous Politics and Policy,” said Christopher J. Deering, interim dean of the College of Professional Studies. “Her academic background, research interests, strong community connections and close working relationship with our partners at AT&T all provide her with a great foundation to lead the Center forward to bigger and better things.”  

Dr. Rule’s work has been published in American Quarterly and the American Indian Culture and Research Journal and has also been featured in The Washington Post, the Atlantic and NPR.

This year, her book manuscript, “Reproducing Resistance: Gendered Violence and Indigenous Nationhood,” which explores the intersection of Native American and First Nations women’s reproductive justice and other gendered issues with Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women, received the Julien Mezey Award from the Association for the Study of Law, Culture and the Humanities.

Dr. Rule received her bachelor’s degree from Yale University, and her master’s and doctorate degrees from Brown University.

She was a postdoctoral fellow in American Studies and the Critical Race, Gender and Culture Studies Collaborative at American University, a visiting scholar at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a Ford Foundation Fellow. She has also had support from Holisso: The Center for the Study of Chickasaw History and Culture, the American Indian College Fund, Native Americans in Philanthropy and the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

Funded by AT&T, CIPP aims to research issues of national political significance to Indigenous communities, including public health, adequate housing, economic security and education.

“AT&T is committed to supporting, improving and connecting Native American communities through education and technology,” said Tom Brooks of AT&T’s external affairs department. “We are proud to be working with George Washington University on the AT&T Center for Indigenous Politics and Policy to expose Native American students to the world of government and policy. Elizabeth has been a great partner in these efforts over the last several years and will make an excellent leader for the center. We look forward to working together to advance awareness on issues of significance to Native communities.”