About Us

Meet Our Team

Erin Parker, J.D., LL.M.

Executive Director

(479) 575-6572
esparker@uark.edu

Carly Griffith Hotvedt, J.D., M.P.A.

Associate Director

(479)-575-6572
hotvedt@uark.edu
Cherokee Nation

Brenton Jones

Budget Director 

(479) 575-3227
baj005@uark.edu

Joseph Damaso

Policy Liaison

(479) 575 -7513
jdamaso@uark.edu

 

Kelli Case

Staff Attorney
kellic@uark.edu
Chickasaw Nation

Nikki Young

Office Administrator 

(479) 575-5666
any007@uark.edu

Summer Rae Wilkie

Youth Coordinator 

(479) 575-3829
swilkie@uark.edu
Cherokee Nation

 

Mary Belle Zook

Communications Manager

479-575-5128
mzook@uark.edu
Citizen Potawatomi Nation

Cindy J. Ryan

Executive Assistant

+1 (479) 575-5606

cjr023@uark.edu

John VanPool

Director of Policy and Governance 

jvanpool@uark.edu

 

Will Seeley

Tribal Enterprise Specialist

wseeley@uark.edu

Liz Miller

Program Operations Manager

+1 (479) 575-5867
edm003@uark.edu

Meagen Baldy

Food Safety Specialist 

mbaldy@uark.edu

 

What We Do

The Indigenous Food and Agriculture Initiative (IFAI) focuses on putting tribal sovereignty in food sovereignty, promoting tribally driven solutions to revitalize and advance traditional food systems and diversified economic development throughout Indian Country. IFAI provides Tribal governments, producers, and food businesses with educational resources, policy research, and strategic legal analysis as a foundation for building robust food economies.

Our work depends on the generous support we receive from the partners listed below.