AT&T Helps Establish GW Center for Indigenous Politics and Policy

Left to Right: Tom Brooks, AT&T’s vice president of external affairs, President Steven Knapp, Professor Gregory Lebel and Dean Ali Eskandarian at the signing ceremony.
February 14, 2017

Indigenous peoples will soon have a new resource to help their voices be heard in Washington, D.C. with the launch of the AT&T Center for Indigenous Politics & Policy (CIPP) at George Washington University. AT&T’s recent gift of $450,000 to help establish the Center and continue existing scholarship programs increases long-term support for GW’s work in this arena.

“We’re excited to establish a unique center in Washington, D. C., to study Native politics and policy, and we are grateful for AT&T’s support,” said Ali Eskandarian, dean of GW’s College of Professional Studies. “This is an important opportunity for the university in its continued commitment to diversity."

Since 2006, approximately 200 Native American, Alaska Native, and Native Hawaiian students have developed their academic and leadership skills in Washington, D.C., through GW’s Native American Political Leadership Program (NAPLP) and the INSPIRE Native Teens Pre-College Program. These opportunities have been provided thanks to more than 10 years of support from AT&T.

Both programs provide full scholarships for Native American, Alaska Native, and Native Hawaiian students and will continue to be offered under the auspices of the new Center.

• The NAPLP program is designed to give undergraduate and graduate students the chance to participate in the Semester in Washington Politics program. The program is designed for students with a passion for politics to intern, study and explore Washington, D.C. for a semester.
• The INSPIRE Pre-College Program is for rising junior and senior high school students who want to spend 3-weeks on the GW campus to learn about  intergovernmental relations between tribal governments and the federal government.


“While NAPLP and INSPIRE were designed to increase interest and capabilities among the next generation of Native peoples, we wanted to provide more comprehensive programming for indigenous peoples in a larger context,” says recently retired assistant professor of political management and  Director Emeritus of the Native American Political Leadership Program, Gregory G. Lebel. “This center gives us the opportunity to offer our unique GW perspective and expertise on the political process in both issue advocacy and electoral politics to a larger Native audience.”

The new Center will act as a mechanism for researching issues, assisting and providing support to tribal leaders, and promoting public awareness on matters of national political significance to Indigenous communities, including public health, adequate housing, economic security and education.

“This is an exciting time for GW as we launch the new center. We are now accepting applications for a faculty member with extensive indigenous experience to serve as the founding director and leader,” said Lebel. “Bring us your expertise.”