SAMHSA TTAC Members Biographies
Jack Austin, Jr.
Jack Austin, Jr., is the Assistant Chief of Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma. Mr. Austin became Assistant Chief of the Choctaw Nation on April 29, 2014, after serving as Director of the Choctaw Nation Recovery Center in Talihina, Oklahoma. His journey working for the Choctaw Nation began in 1991 with a position with the Choctaw Nation Health Care System soon after being honorably discharged from the U.S. Army. This first position in material management led to his ultimate position as state licensed counselor at the Recovery Center. Jack's Choctaw vision begins with God, his family, and his role as a servant to the Choctaw people. Assistant Chief Austin's duties are vast; however, he enjoys working closely with tribal members and the Choctaw Tribal Council. Jack also focuses on work with the Senior Executive Officers of the tribe who oversee the major divisions of the tribe: Member Services, Tribal Relations, Health Services, and Administrative Services. As Assistant Chief, he also sits on the Choctaw Nation Business Committee, which drives all of the tribe's new business ventures. Assistant Chief Austin has been married to wife, Philsha, for over 20 years. Together, they have three children; Clark, a student at Carl Albert State College; Malacha, a senior at Talihina High School; and Sam, their youngest.
Timothy Ballew II
Timothy Ballew II is an enrolled member of the Lummi Nation and resides on the Lummi Indian Reservation near Bellingham, Washington. Timothy Ballew was born on September 9, 1980. Mr. Ballew is happily married to Leanne and they have two beautiful boys, Hunter and Tandy. Mr. Ballew graduated Western Washington University in 2003 with a Bachelor of Arts in psychology. Prior to winning the 2012 tribal election as chairman of the Lummi Nation, Chairman Ballew was elected to serve on the Lummi Indian Business Council. While exercising Lummi's Treaty Right as a commercial fisherman, he has also held a number of employment positions prior to the election. Under the Lummi Indian Business Council, Chairman Ballew held employment with the Lummi Community Mobilization Against Drugs Initiative, Lummi Statistics Office, and the General Manager's Office. In addition, Chairman Ballew has served on the Lummi Commercial Company Board of Directors, Lummi Housing Authority Commission, and on the Lummi Education Board.
Amber Kanazbah Crotty
Amber Kanazbah Crotty is a Navajo Nation Council Delegate and member of the Health, Education and Human Services Committee. Amber is born for the Kinyaa’ánii Clan, her Cheiis are Deeshchii'nii and from To’Halstoii (Sheep Springs, New Mexico). Amber comes from a long legacy of women leaders, strong weavers, tenacious sheepherders, and loving grandmas. Mrs. Crotty studied American Indian Studies-Law and History at University of California-Los Angeles. Amber’s academic interest is in Indigenous Policy and Government Structures, specifically the Navajo government reform project and the legislative passage of the Navajo Fundamental Laws requiring all Navajo policies be grounded in tradition, customs, values, spiritual beliefs, and practices. As a Delegate, mother, and community member, Amber advocates for Navajo citizens who have little to no political agency such as domestic violence victims, vulnerable children, those suffering from mental illness who are experiencing homelessness, and Indian Child Welfare Act children/families.
Phyllis Davis is Tribal Council member for the Match-E-Be-Nash-She-Wish Band of Pottawatomi Indians of Michigan (also known as the Gun Lake Tribe) and has served as an elected official for almost two years. She has advocated for health and wellness within her own tribal community and within the Bemidji Area for many years as Director of the Health and Human Services Department for her tribe, in addition to her role as Co-Chair of the Michigan Tribal Health Directors Association. Ms. Davis participates annually in the Regional Department of Health and Human Services Tribal Consultation to bring issues of concern, including urban health programs, not only from a tribal perspective but also in a collaborative fashion with those who represent the 34 tribes within the Bemidji Area. This past year, she had the privilege of participating in the National Budget Formulation Workgroup as a representative of the Bemidji Area and most recently as the Bemidji Representative for the Department of Health and Human Services Tribal Consultation Workgroup.
Joseph A. Garcia
Joseph A. Garcia was born and raised in Ohkay Owingeh and continues to serve his community in traditional, educational, tribal government, and economic development efforts. Actively involved in the National Congress of American Indians (NCAI) since 1995, he served two 2-year terms as First Vice President of the NCAI prior to being elected President in November 2005. NCAI is the largest national Indian organization, representing more than 250 member tribal nations from throughout the United States. Mr. Garcia completed his third term (January 2005 to December 2006) as Governor of Ohkay Owingeh (San Juan Pueblo), located in northern New Mexico. After his term as Governor, he was elected as Chairman of the All Indian Pueblo Council, the organization formed in 1598 to serve the 19 Pueblos of New Mexico. Mr. Garcia served as Chairman for four years (2007-10). He is an electrical engineer by profession, with an electrical engineering degree from the University of New Mexico. In June 2003 Mr. Garcia retired from the Los Alamos National Laboratory after 25 years of service and started his own firm, MistyLake Consulting Services. He has taught numerous courses in computers, electronics, lasers, and math at Northern New Mexico College since 1979. Mr. Garcia's professional training also includes Black Belt Certification for the renowned Six Sigma Quality Improvement process. He has been recognized for his service to his tribe as well as to the State of New Mexico and the Nation. Mr. Garcia's awards include the New Mexico Distinguished Public Service Award (1995), the Luminaries Award from the New Mexico Community Foundation (1998), the Jay Silverheels Achievement Award (2006), the Ely S. Parker Award (2007), the Mary G. Ross Accomplishment Award (2007), and the John Kieffer Sovereignty Award (2008). Former New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson proclaimed October 15, 2009, as President Joe Garcia Day in the State of New Mexico, and Mr. Garcia was awarded the New Mexico State flag, which was flown over the New Mexico Capitol on October 9, 2009.
Andy Joseph, Jr.
Andy Joseph, Jr., has been elected to serve on the Colville Business Council for three terms. He is a Nespelem District Representative and serves on the following: Colville Executive Committee, as First Vice President of the Veterans Committee; Health and Human Services Committee; Tribal Government Committee; and Culture Committee. Councilman Joseph is also a voting delegate of the Affiliated Tribes of Northwest Indians and the National Congress of American Indians. In July 2007, he was elected Vice Chairman of the Indian Health Service Direct Services Tribes Advisory Committee. On January 22, 2009, Councilman Joseph was appointed Chairman of the Northwest Portland Area Indian Health Board (IHB), and in April 2011, he was elected Chairman. In January 2011, Councilman Joseph was elected Member-at-Large of the National Indian Health Board.
Cecelia Johnson worked for the Indian Health Service from 1972 to 1998, during which she received numerous awards and citations for her work. She has served in the elected position as Secretary for the Ketchikan Indian Community Tribal Council and currently serves as Chair of the Ketchikan Indian Community Advisory Health Board. Ms. Johnson has also worked as a court visitor in the Ketchikan Court System from 1998 to2006. She currently serves on the Board of Directors for the Alaska Native Health Board. She has received two significant awards: 1989 Citizen of the Year and the 2010 Women of Distinction award.
Juana Majel-Dixon has been a member of the National Congress of American Indians (NCAI) for more than 30 years and has served in various leadership capacities. For the past nine years, she has served as the NCAI Secretary. In June 2003, Ms. Majel-Dixon spearheaded the formation of the NCAI Task Force on Violence Against Women. She is Chair of the Task Force and has dedicated endless hours to the reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act of 2005, continuing the work of the NCAI Task Force to Stop Violence Against Native Women. Ms. Majel-Dixon served a 2-year term with the National Advisory Committee on Violence Against Women (2005-07); a 6-year term with Tribal Technical Advisory Group to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (2001-07); and 2 years with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Tribal Consultation Advisory Committee (2006-08). She has traveled around the world representing the unique perspective of indigenous peoples, raising cultural awareness about such issues as Native sovereignty, tribal justice systems, racism, spirituality, healing, and education. Ms. Majel-Dixon is working on her joint doctorate in education and U.S. policy from San Diego State University and Claremont Graduate University. She has a Master of Science degree in behavioral science (emphasis in community behavior); a Master of Science degree in psychology (specialty in Native School Psychology); and a Bachelor of Science degree in behavioral science (emphasis in substance abuse). Ms. Majel-Dixon has taught Federal Indian Law and U.S. Policy for 26 years at Palmar College and is a Visiting Professor at San Diego State University, Claremont Graduate University, and Mesa College. In April 2006, she became a faculty member of Clan Star, Inc. Ms. Majel-Dixon worked as the Alcohol and Substance Abuse Director and Counselor for the San Diego Indian Health Clinic for four years. She has also served as Crisis Counselor for the Women's Resource Center for 10 years and is a traditional Native healer. Ms. Majel-Dixon is a member of the Pauma-Yuima Band of Luiseno Indians and has served as a traditional appointment to the Tribal Legislative Council for 28 years. One of her greatest accomplishments is being a part of raising her seven nephews.
Keith Massaway serves on the Board of Directors of the Sault Ste Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians. Mr. Massaway was elected to the tribal board in 2006 and again in 2010. He graduated from Ferris State University in 1984 and immediately went into the private business sector. He has held presidencies of directorships in the local Chamber of Commerce and the Convention and Visitors Bureau. Mr. Massaway was appointed to tribal committees, including the Johnson O'Malley parent advisory board and chaired that committee. Working with the tribe he was seated on several programs including S.T.A.Y. (Sault Tribe Alive Youth), which focused on suicide prevention, and served as the Vice Chair, as well as the tribe’s Head Start and Early Head Start Advisory Board and the Youth Councils.
Robert McGhee is an enrolled member of the Poarch Band of Creek Indians and resides in Atmore, Alabama. He has been involved in Indian issues at all levels of government. Mr. McGhee has served on the Poarch Band of Creek Indians Tribal Council for nine years and he currently holds the position of Treasurer. He serves as the Eastern Representative for the National Indian Gaming Association, as a member of the Board of Directors for the Indian Child Welfare Association and was appointed by former Secretary Sebelius to serve on the HHS Tribal Advisory Committee. He has the opportunity to serve on the Alabama Children's First Foundation Board of Directors. Prior to moving back to Atmore, Alabama, Mr. McGhee had the opportunity to work in Washington, D.C., for approximately five years at the Department of Interior's Bureau of Indian Affairs, at the United States Senate Committee on Indian Affairs, and for Troutman-Sanders, LLP, Indian Law Practice Group. Mr. McGhee is a graduate of the University of South Alabama, University of Alabama and holds an MSW degree from Washington University in St Louis. Mr. McGhee also completed the Georgetown Executive Leadership Program in Washington, D.C. He has had the opportunity to serve on numerous White House initiatives and boards. Prior to accepting the position of Governmental Relations Advisor for the Tribe, Mr. McGhee held the positions of Tribal Administrator and President and CEO of Creek Indian Enterprises. Mr. McGhee was recently awarded the University of South Alabama Distinguished Alumni for 2013.
Jonathan Nez, Navajo Nation Vice President, was born in Tuba City, Arizona, and raised in Shonto, Arizona. Vice President Nez is married to Phefelia Herbert-Nez and they have two children, Christopher and Alexander. He is the son of John H. Nez and Mabel H. Nez. His grandfather, H.T. Donald, was the former Navajo Nation Council Delegate for Shonto Chapter, and his grandmother was Mae Donald from Shonto. Vice President Nez is born into the Áshįįhí clan (Salt People) and born for the Ta’neeszahnii clan (Tangle clan). His maternal grandfather’s clan is Tódích’íi’nii clan (Bitter Water clan) and his paternal grandfather’s clan is the Táchii’nii clan (Red-Running-Into-The-Water clan). Vice President Nez began his political career after being elected as Shonto Chapter Vice President. He was later elected to serve three terms as a Navajo Nation Council Delegate, representing the chapters of Shonto, Oljato, Tsah Bi Kin, and Navajo Mountain. Vice President Nez was also elected as a Navajo County Board of Supervisor for District 1 and served two terms (he had to resign after he was elected Navajo Nation Vice President). With more than 10 years of dedicated public service, Vice President Nez was asked to be a running mate to Navajo Nation President Russell Begaye. On April 21, 2015, the Navajo people elected President Begaye and Vice President Nez to be their leaders for the next four years. On May 12, they took the oath of office and began serving as the Navajo Nation President and Vice President. Vice President Nez believes strongly in education. He is currently a doctoral student in political science and completed research on local empowerment and mobilizing local communities of the Navajo Nation to reinstate their inherent local way of governance. His research focuses on the reduction of dependence on the central tribal government, upholding and enhancing the local inherent sovereignty of the chapter areas. He is an alumni of Northland Pioneer College and Northern Arizona University (NAU). He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in political science and a Masters of Public Administration from NAU. Vice President Nez is an avid runner and advocate for healthy living. He enjoys training and competing in long-distance events, and has competed in multiple marathons. Vice President Nez participated in the 2015 Running for a Stronger and Healthier Navajo Nation, a 435-mile run circling the Navajo Nation. He ran more than 150 miles for the event. His current goal is to run a marathon in each of the 50 states.
Alesia Reed is Tribal Secretary for the Torres Martinez Desert Cahuilla Indians. Ms. Reed is currently serving a second term in her position. She has worked with the Department of Health and Huma Services programs including the Tribal Temporary Assistance for Needy Families Program and spearheaded the Tribe’s Social Services Department. Ms. Reid worked for Selnek-is Tem-AI Corporation, which established the Torres Martinez Travel Center and Red Earth Casino. She has also been the Tribal Council Representative to the National Council of American Indians. Ms. Reed is the Tribal Health Care Senior Representative for the Riverside San Bernadino County Indian Health Center, which serves 10 tribes. And she is an active member of the Riverside County Tribal Alliance for Indian Children and Families Board, which is focused on minimizing Court and County Intervention.
Ronald B. Shaw
Ronald B. Shaw, M.D., is an enrolled member of the Osage Nation and belongs to the Gray Horse District and Eagle clan. He attended Oklahoma State University and Dartmouth College and graduated with a Doctor of Medicine degree from the University of Washington School of Medicine. He then completed an internal medicine residency at the University of Oklahoma. He is currently a Diplomat of the American Board of Internal Medicine and Board Certified by the American Board of Addiction Medicine. He has served on the Central Oklahoma American Indian Health Council, the governing board for the Oklahoma City Indian Clinic. Dr. Shaw was the medical director of the Integris Recovery Network, a multilevel chemical dependency treatment system located in Oklahoma City. He is currently the Medical Director of the Citizen Potawatomi Nation Health Services, a nine provider health system that includes a complete range of outpatient behavioral health services. In 2014, Dr. Shaw was elected to the Osage Nation Congress where he serves as chairman of the Health and Social Services Committee. He is a member of the Osage Nation IHS compact negotiation team. His professional interests include pharmacological and psychosocial treatment of chemical dependency.
John Yellow Bird Steele
John Yellow Bird Steele is President of the Oglala Sioux Tribe. John Yellow Bird Steele recently was elected to his seventh nonconsecutive term as president of the Oglala Sioux Tribe (OST). He is the only OST member to serve more than two terms as the tribe's top official. His first term as OST's president was from 1992 to 1994. John’s long-time service within tribal government has secured his place as a historical figure throughout Indian Country and beyond. He began his notable tribal government service almost 40 years ago as a member of the Oglala Sioux Tribal Council. From 1982 to 1984 and again from 1984 to 1986, he served as the tribe's vice president. During his long career, he has also served on numerous district community boards on the Pine Ridge Reservation. Additionally, he has served on numerous Native American specific boards and committees such as the National Congress of American Indians, National Indian Health Board, National Indian Education Association, United Tribal Health Board, National Indian Housing Association, Black Hills Treaty Council, and the Great Plains Tribal Chairmen's Health Board. John was instrumental in developing personnel policies and procedural guidelines as well as an employee merit system for the Oglala Sioux Tribe. He has been married to Anna Little Dog since 1972. Together they have raised nine children and 19 foster children. The couple also has 23 grandchildren and six great-grandchildren.
Lisa Wade is a Council Member of the Chickaloon Village Traditional Council (Nay'dini'aa Na'), Chickaloon Native Village, Alaska. Ms. Wade has also been the Health and Social Services Director since 2007 and focuses on helping communities define their own comprehensive vision of physical, spiritual, mental, emotional, and environmental health, and develop and implement programs to build healthier communities. Additionally, Ms. Wade contributes to numerous local and state-wide boards and committees, working to address issues of cultural health in policymaking, regulatory compliance, and budgetary processes. Lisa has been a reinsurance broker/underwriter for medical malpractice and taught community psychology, human services, cultural diversity, ethics, and arts courses. Ms. Wade is a Ph.D. candidate in clinical and community psychology with a rural indigenous emphasis at the University of Alaska, Anchorage/Fairbanks. She possesses a Master of Arts in counseling and psychological services, with a Bachelor of Arts in psychology with a minor in biology.
Mr. Arthur Wilson is serving his first year as Tohono O'odham legislative council representative, representing the Sells District, one of the eleven political districts of the Tohono O'odham Nation. Mr. Wilson attended the American Indian Bible College in Phoenix Arizona and Pima Community College in Tucson, Arizona, graduating in 1981. Mr. Arthur spent 17 years working with the Nation's Department of Health and Human Services, nine years with the Child Welfare Division providing case management and residential services for children in need, and 8 years in working with the Nation's Behavioral Health System as an administrator managing a number of grants funded by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). During his work with Elders within the Senior Services Division under the Nation, Mr. Wilson assisted in providing organization for preserving some of the cultural information and in re-introducing one of the Tohono O'odham Ceremonies. Within the community, Mr. Wilson is a basket weaver and story teller.