William (Bill) Mendoza was appointed as Executive Director of the White House Initiative on American Indian and Alaska Native Education in December 2011. Bill, Oglala-Sicangu Lakota, grew up on the Pine Ridge and Rosebud Sioux reservations in South Dakota.
Bill has experienced, firsthand, through his professional and life experiences, the multitude of challenges facing American Indian students, educators, and tribes. In addition to being a teacher and principal, Bill has worked at the school, professional and community level to help foster leadership development and civic engagement among American Indians. Integral to his professional and academic capacity has been his experiences as a tribal college student at Haskell Indian Nations University, Sinte Gleska University, and Oglala Lakota College.
Bill previously served as the Deputy Director and Executive Director for the White House Initiative on Tribal Colleges. Since his appointment in January 2011, he has provided leadership to key administration initiatives including: Executive Order 13592, Tribal Leaders Speak – The State of Indian Education 2010 Report; State-Tribal Education Partnership Pilot; and 2012 ED-DOI Memorandum of Understanding. Before coming to Washington, DC, Bill was working towards a Doctorate in Education Leadership at Montana State University (MSU). He earned his Bachelor of Arts in Humanities from Fort Lewis College in 2005 and a Master of Education from MSU in 2010.