Governor Napolitano names McLendon, Leonard to Arizona Board of Regents

Former legislator, first Native American to serve on Board

PHOENIX - Governor Janet Napolitano named former legislator Bob McLendon and Hopi Educational Endowment Fund (HEEF) executive director LuAnn Leonard to the Arizona Board of Regents (ABOR). Upon confirmation by the Arizona Senate, McLendon will serve a term that will expire in 2012, and Leonard will serve a term that will expire in 2016.

Leonard has served since 2002 as executive director of the HEEF, serving previously in the Office of the Chairman of the Hopi Tribe and as director of the Office of Youth Affairs. She is a graduate of Northern Arizona University and Arizona State University, and is a member of the Hopi Tribe and a descendant of the Tohono O'odham Nation.

"LuAnn Leonard is an excellent public servant who will bring a critical perspective to the Board of Regents," Governor Napolitano said. "One of the most important missions for higher education in Arizona will be to expand opportunities for students in rural and tribal areas. LuAnn will bring great expertise to those missions in particular, as well as an impressive background in educational policy."

Napolitano added that Leonard is familiar with the need to reach out to students in rural Arizona, particularly Native Americans, in order to keep them in college and keep the state's universities on track in attending to the needs of Native American students.

Until Leonard's confirmation to the ABOR by the Arizona Senate, she will be allowed to attend meetings only. The ABOR makes decisions including setting tuition rates, freezing tuition rates and carrying out the governor's proposals.

Napolitano feels that Leonard will be a great communicator and a positive role model, and that her appointment to the ABOR will set a great precedent for the state because of her current advocacy efforts on behalf of Native American education.

McLendon, of Yuma, served in the Arizona House of Representatives from 1983 until 2001 before retiring from elected office in 2004.

"Throughout his service as a public official, Bob McLendon has been a strong advocate for educational opportunity for all Arizona children," Governor Napolitano said.

For more information about the Office of the Governor, please visit www.azgovernor.gov.

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