Dr. Valerie J. Grussing is the Executive Director of NATHPO. Previously, Valerie served as Cultural Resources Coordinator for NOAA’s National Marine Protected Areas (MPA) Center and Tribal Liaison for NOAA’s National Ocean Service. She managed a range of collaborative projects including Characterizing Tribal Cultural Landscapes, a Cultural Resources Toolkit for MPA Managers, and the Maritime Cultural Landscape Initiative. Valerie instituted a culture change in how her offices work with indigenous groups by ensuring that staff and leadership are knowledgeable about principles of sovereignty, self-determination, and proactive engagement and relationship building. She is passionate about advocating for and supporting Native interests and voices in protecting and revitalizing Native culture. Valerie holds a BA in History from North Carolina State University, an MA in Anthropology from the University of Iowa, and a PhD in Coastal Resources Management from East Carolina University.