Native American Alumni of Harvard University Board of Directors
Officers and Directors 2023-2024
Acting President: John LaVelle, AB '87
Immediate Past President: Emily R. Van Dyke, AB '03, MPH '09
Vice President: Tobias J. Vanderhoop, MPA '08
Treasurer: Noah Diver Cominsky, AB '20
Secretary: Ashley Hamilton, AB '20
James Colombe, AB '10
Noah Diver Cominsky, AB '20
Ashley Nicole Hamilton, AB '20
John P. LaVelle, AB '87
Kyle Scherer, AB '05 HLS '09
Tobias Vanderhoop, MPA '08
Emily Van Dyke, AB '03, MPH '09
James Colombe (Rosebud Sioux & Nez Perce, AB '10)
James Colombe, an enrolled member of the Rosebud Sioux Tribe and of Nez Perce descent, grew up in the Rosebud Reservation in Mission, SD. James studied organic chemistry, graduating from Harvard in 2010 (AB) and MIT in 2015 (PhD). Since then, James's career in public service has taken him from Indian Country field organizing for the 2018 midterm election in South Dakota to the Federal Reserve and then the US Treasury, where he works on Tribal issues in the Office of Tribal and Native Affairs. James resides in Plano, TX.
Noah Diver Cominsky (Ojibwe - Fond du Lac Band of Lake Superior Chippewa, AB ‘20)
Noah Cominsky is a graduate of Harvard College, Class of 2020. He is Ojibwe from the Fond du Lac Band of Lake Superior Chippewa and is originally from a suburb of Cleveland, Ohio. He now lives in Chicago, IL. At Harvard, he studied a joint-concentration of Government and the Studies of Women, Gender, and Sexuality and served as the President of Native Americans at Harvard College (NAHC) from 2018-2019, along with working with the Undergraduate Minority Recruitment Program (UMRP) in the Admissions Office for four years. As a recent graduate, he is hoping to serve on NAAHU's Board, as he believes his recent connections with current students could be beneficial in strengthening NAAHU's relationship with students on campus. Specifically, he hopes to help create a more formal mentorship program and provide more direct support to current Indigenous students at Harvard through NAAHU.
John P. LaVelle (AB ‘87, JD)
John P. LaVelle is an enrolled member of the Santee Sioux Nation and a Professor of Law and Regents’ Lecturer at the University of New Mexico School of Law. He currently serves as Director of the UNM Law and Indigenous Peoples Program and Co-Chair of the UNM Native American Faculty Council. He received his college degree from Harvard University in 1987 and his law degree from the University of California, Berkeley, School of Law in 1990. Professor LaVelle served on the executive editorial board for the 2005 and 2012 editions of Cohen’s Handbook of Federal Indian Law, the comprehensive treatise in the field of Indian law. He chaired the Association of American Law Schools Section on Indian Nations and Indigenous Peoples during 2018-2019, and continues to serve as a member of the section’s executive committee. Professor LaVelle also is an Associate Justice of the Santee Sioux Nation Supreme Court, his tribe’s highest judicial tribunal. He resides in Albuquerque with his husband Monte Deer Carden, an artist, actor, and enrolled citizen of the Muscogee (Creek) Nation.
Ashley Nicole Hamilton (Hocak and Kiikaapoa, AB ‘20)
Ashley Nicole Hamilton is an enrolled member of Winnebago tribe of Nebraska and a descendant of the Kickapoo tribe in Kansas. Currently, Ashley works as the Assistant Director of Projects Planning and Regulation at Ho-Chunk, Inc., in which she assesses and responds to policy that will impact any aspect of the Winnebago Tribe or Ho-Chunk Inc.'s scope of work or interest. Prior to joining ANG, Ashley worked at the National Congress of American Indians (NCAI) as a research associate with a portfolio including tribal governance best practices research and writing in food sovereignty, juvenile justice, and economic development. She co-managed the Tribal Food Sovereignty Advancement Initiative and Ending Indian Mascots campaign at NCAI, wherein she became an in-house expert on tribal food sovereignty programs and state policies and legislation banning Native-themed mascots. Ashley is a University of Michigan 2026 J.D. Candidate and recent Harvard college graduate (AB 2020), wherein she studied sociology and economics with a focus on Native American and Indigenous studies. She currently serves as Secretary of the NAAHU board.
Kyle Scherer (Munsee Delaware Nation / Chippewa of the Thames Nation, AB '05, HLS '09)
Kyle is a partner at Venable LLP, where he serves as co-chair of the firm's Native American Law & Policy practice. After graduating from HLS, he worked as a staff attorney for a legal services organization that provides access to justice for low-income individuals living on Navajo Nation. He later spent time advising on federal Indian law at the U.S. Department of Justice, and more recently served as Deputy Solicitor for Indian Affairs at the U.S. Department of the Interior. In a previous career, Kyle was an Army intelligence officer with service in Afghanistan and Iraq. He is a member of the Munsee Delaware Nation and a descendant of the Chippewa of the Thames First Nation.
Tobias J. Vanderhoop (Wampanoag Tribe of Gay Head (Aquinnah), MPA ’08)
Tobias J. Vanderhoop, MPA, is an enrolled member of the Wampanoag Tribe of Gay Head (Aquinnah) in Massachusetts. He has over 20 years of experience working with tribal governments including service as a Tribal Council member, Tribal Administrator and Tribal Chairman, and has previously served as a member of the Self Governance Advisory Committee for BIA and IHS. Mr. Vanderhoop has expertise in strategic and community planning, tribal program and policy development, education and political advocacy and youth leadership development. He has focused on incorporating tribal culture and traditional values into all aspects of his professional career. Mr. Vanderhoop earned a Bachelor of Arts Community Planning and Management from University of Massachusetts Boston and a Master of Public Administration from Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.
Dr. Emily R. Van Dyke (Siksika - Niitsitapi / Blackfoot, AB ’03, MPH ’09)
Dr. Emily Van Dyke has served on the NAAHU Board since NAAHU was founded in February 2007 and as NAAHU President since Spring 2016. Emily is a Siksika (Niitsitapi / Blackfoot) descendant. She is eager to support the new leadership team during this transition after seven years as President. She obtained her MD from the University of Washington with an Indian Health Pathway Certification and did medical rotations among Blackfeet, Crow, Swinomish, Quinault, Tlingit, Anchorage and Seattle Urban Indian clinics. While at Harvard College, she helped revive NAHC with Erica Scott-Pacheco, Elijah Hutchinson, and Duane Clarence Meat. As a MPH student, she had a chance to perform with HIIDT on the Sanders Theater stage during Cultural Rhythms and at at International Night at Harvard School of Public Health cultural celebration.