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Navajo Nation Welcomes Its First Economist

Navajo Nation Welcomes Its First Economist
November 21
07:37 2021

The Division of Economic Development Welcomes the Navajo Nation’s First Economist

Alisha L Murphy

The Navajo Nation Division of Economic Development is excited to welcome to the division’s team, Alisha L. Murphy, a current doctoral candidate of New Mexico State University. Murphy has been selected to be the division’s first-ever economist, “my focus is to understand the strengths of our Nation’s economy through data and identify opportunities for improvement in creating a positive business environment that continues to encourage the growth of Navajo entrepreneurship” says Murphy as she began her role as the Nation’s Economist on November 15, 2021. With a focus in tribal economic development, and special interest in Navajo entrepreneurship, Murphy plans to receive her Doctorate of Economic Development degree from New Mexico State University in May of 2022. She is also the Vice-Chair to The Global Centre of Indigenomics and has recently received the Native American 2021 40 Under 40 Award from The National Center of American Indian Enterprise Development. 

The Division of Economic Development division director, JT Willie, and the Support Services Department manager, Tyrone Chee, took the time to carefully create the economist position. In efforts to create this innovative position Willie resourced Gregory Redhouse, a professor of the Dine College School of Business, to evaluate and provide input while outlining the scope of work to finalize the details of the economist. Although it has taken some time and effort to get to this point, Willie is appreciative to those who have contributed in the initiative to take this big step for the Navajo Nation’s economic opportunity. Now with change from natural resource revenue for the nation, an economist on board will be able to focus on other economic opportunities of the Navajo economy, “we are at a point where job creation is vital” says Willie while emphasizing the importance of hiring and retaining qualified candidates as well as targeting new graduates to return to the Navajo Nation to utilize their degrees.  

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