W. Richard West, Jr.

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W. Richard West "is director of the National Museum of the American Indian. His work as an attorney has fostered the continuation of the arts and protected the cultural traditions of Indian peoples. As founding director of the National Museum of the American Indian, he has assured that the arts of Indian peoples enjoy equal status among the cultural assets of the world.

"A citizen of the Cheyenne and Arapaho Tribes of Oklahoma and a Peace Chief of the Southern Cheyenne, West has devoted his professional life and much of his personal life to working with American Indians on cultural, educational, legal and governmental issues.

"Before becoming director of the National Museum of the American Indian, West was a partner in the Washington, D.C., office of Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson, and, subsequently, in the Indian-owned Albuquerque law firm of Gover, Stetson, Williams & West, P.C. He served as general counsel and special counsel to numerous tribes and organizations. In that capacity, he represented clients before federal, state and tribal courts, various executive departments of the Federal Government and the Congress.

"West's current board affiliations and memberships include: Stanford University (2002-present); National Parks and Conservation Association (2002-present); Ford Foundation (1999-present); National Support Committee of the Native American Rights Fund (1990-present) and American Indian Resources Institute (1973-present).

"He served as chair of the American Association of Museums, the nation's only national membership organization representing all types of museums and museum professionals, from 1998-2000. From 1992-1995 and 1997-1998, he served as member-at-large of the association's board of directors and in 1995-1996 as vice chair of the board of directors. West currently is vice chair of the American Association of Museums/International Council of Museums, which represents the interests of American institutions in the international museum community...

"West is married to the former Mary Beth Braden, who is a professor of political science at the National Defense University, Industrial College of the Armed Forces. They have two adult children, Amy and Ben." [1]

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  1. W. Richard West, DOI, accessed September 24, 2008.
  2. Conservation Lands Foundation Board, organizational web page, accessed January 1, 2013.
  3. Trustees, Kaiser Family Foundation, accessed September 24, 2008.