Melissa Riley, Chief Executive Officer
Melissa Riley (Mescalero Apache), Ph.D., is the owner/principal of Native Community Development Associates, LLC, of New Mexico. Ms. Riley is also a consultant to several national/state/tribal agencies and public/private organizations.
Ms. Riley has managed federal projects within the Department of Justice (DOJ), Office for Victims of Crime (OVC) such as the national Counseling & Faith-Based Services for Crime Victims in Indian Country (CFBSCV-IC) Training and Technical Assistance Grant and the Children’s Justice Act (CJA) Partnership in Indian Country Training and Technical Assistance Grant. The two DOJ, OVC-funded projects involved assessing grantee needs, evaluating training and technical services, and recording/analyzing performance measures for project sustainability. Ms. Riley co-authored a national Faith-Based Curriculum, produced training and technical assistance videos, and published training guides for the CFBSCV-IC and CJA Projects.
Ms. Riley has developed curricula for the New Mexico Department of Health/Office of Community Health Workers, Gallup Indian Health Services, University of Texas at Arlington, and other organizations. She has also developed sexual assault protocols, behavioral health/social service policy and procedures, and other tribal multi-disciplinary policies and procedures that enhance victim service response and increase prosecution.
Ms. Riley’s experience with research includes her role as a field interviewer for the NIJ funded VAIW National Baseline Pilot Study and lead field investigator and researcher in her graduate studies, as well as the Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act (SORNA) Research Project. Additional experience in research includes Institution Review Board (IRB) applications, National Institutes of Health (NIH) certification, establishing research protocols, conducting research, and using digital equipment such as Computer-Assisted Personal Interviewing (CAPI) and Audio Computer Assisted Self-Interviewing (ACASI).
Ms. Riley has also been responsible for developing and implementing wrap-around services for tribal programs that serve community members impacted by alcohol/substance abuse, crime, and other social issues. She also serves as a direct service provider for a number of New Mexico Tribal communities, including providing counseling, social work, home evaluations, guardian ad litem services, and family conferencing facilitation.
Ms. Riley also volunteers and offers her skills, knowledge, and abilities to local organizations such as the Pueblo of Laguna’s Department of Education School Board, Roadrunner Food Bank, Joy Junction Homeless Shelter, and Child of All Nations, to name a few.
Ryan Riley, Technical Consultant
Mr. Riley (Pueblo of Laguna) has served Native American communities in various capacities for over twenty-two years. Ryan holds degrees in Business Administration and Wildlife Biology from New Mexico State University and master’s degree in Public Administration from Grand Canyon University in Arizona. He is presently a doctoral candidate in psychology with an emphasis in industrial and organizational psychology from Grand Canyon University. His work with NCDA includes providing training and mentoring to tribes across the United States in the area of government to government relations, policy development, grant writing, and contract management/negotiation.
Prior to his NCDA work, Mr. Riley served as the Deputy Regional Director for the United States Department of Interior, Bureau of Indian Affairs – Southwest Regional Office in New Mexico. His former Deputy Regional Director position included working directly with Tribal Nations and and their leadership to promote tribal community programs and opportunities in areas such as public safety, economic development, and human services, for example. In addition, he had the honor to serve 8 years on the Pueblo of Laguna Tribal Council where he was active in public safety (law enforcement, detention services, and emergency response/management), budget, finance, education, and government liaison activities for the Pueblo.
Paula White, Community Social Worker
Paula White, M.A., has extensive experience in providing social services to Native Communities formerly in the tribes of Washoe, Reno-Sparks, and Tule River in California and Nevada. Her specialty is Indian Family and Child Welfare in the positions of Director of Social Services, ICWA Social Worker and Tribal Program Consultant. Paula has also been a Program Director of a Foster Family Agency and has used her skills in family preservation and reunification to successfully reunite Native children with their families and to keep them in their homes.
Sylvia Hillenbrand is a full-time student at New Mexico Highlands University. Sylvia is currently pursuing her bachelor’s degree in social work. She has worked with many different populations within the realm of social work, from micro-level social work including providing individual and family level support navigating healthcare and education, birth to 21 years old. To macro-level social work, working with different community-based organizations, facilitating and empowering system and policy change at the state and federal level. Much of her experience working with individuals/families has been at the intersection of law and social work, having worked in interdisciplinary teams of educational administrators/personnel, healthcare providers, and attorneys to bring awareness and education pertaining to parents’ rights in special education. Her career in social work includes preventive services, working with individuals with disabilities/chronic health needs and high-risk pregnant mothers. Sylvia has cultivated a passion for helping others grow by empowering individuals and families. Her dedication ensures that individuals, families, and communities are prepared to lead and build successful lives with all the necessary tools to do so.