The Honorable N. Levi Esquerra (Chemehuevi) is the first University of Arizona first Senior Vice President for Native American Advancement and Tribal Engagement. In this position, he coordinates University-wide efforts to advance Native American programs and tribal engagement in consonance with the strategic plan. He serves as a point of contact for Native issues and as a liaison between the University and tribal governments and regional and national tribal organizations.
Esquerra has nearly three decades of experience facilitating and promoting Native American advancement and economic development for Native Nations, including two years as Chairman of the Chemehuevi Indian Tribe and three additional terms on the Tribal Council. Most recently, he served as Director of the Center for American Indian Economic Development and the Rural Policy Institute, both in the Alliance Bank Economic Policy Institute, which is part of Northern Arizona University’s W.A. Franke College of Business Administration. His experience also includes several other community and economic development roles with the state of Arizona, St. Louis Community Development Agency and American Indian Center of Mid-America, as well as work to address the needs of indigenous tribes in Argentina while representing the U.S. Department of State. His expertise also led to the Canadian Consulate inviting him to participate in the annual Canadian Indigenous Conference where he shared best practices with First Nations communities. As an elected leader, Esquerra helped shape the Nuwuvi Economic Development Corporation, which creates, manages, and develops tribal enterprises to promote economic self-sufficiency through business development, job creation and revenue production.