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The National Center for American Indian Enterprise Development’s (The National Center) President and CEO, Chris James, has been appointed to the Board of Directors of Junior Achievement USA. Junior Achievement’s mission is to inspire and prepare young people to succeed through mentorship, role models, and preparation that promotes financial capability. Its mission to prepare young people for work, career readiness, and business ownership is particularly well aligned with The National Center.

“I’m excited to join the Board of Directors of Junior Achievement USA and proud to support its mission of empowering young people so that they are better prepared for their careers, to manage their money, and to gain confidence in entrepreneurship,” said National Center President and CEO Chris James. “Mentorship and leadership development have been vital to my success, both personally and professionally. Junior Achievement USA understands that no single person or organization can do it all, but that by bringing together the right people we can expand the network of those who can make a difference for the next generation.”

“Having Chris James on the JA Board will help us expand our outreach and continue to reach into communities where mentorship and leadership development are most needed,” said Junior Achievement USA President and CEO Jack E. Kosakowski. “As someone who has both walked the walk at the highest levels of government and worked at the community level to empower young people and entrepreneurs with knowledge and know-how, James is an ideal addition to our Board of Directors.”

Chris James is originally from Cherokee, North Carolina, home of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians, where his family has owned small businesses on the Qualla Boundary Reservation for more than 50 years. Throughout a career that includes eight years in the federal government, Chris has led programs in support of entrepreneurship and business development, helping countless small businesses grow into successful enterprises. In the early 2000s, Chris taught the Junior Achievement Program ‘JA Finance Perk’ at Cherokee High School in North Carolina.