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Leander R. McDonald

Leander R. McDonald, PhD, is an enrolled member of the Spirit Lake Dakota Nation and a proud descendant of the Sahnish, Hidatsa, and Hunkpapa Nations. Dr. McDonald has served as the President of United Tribes Technical College for the past six years.

He currently also serves as Chairman for the American Indian College Fund Board and Secretary for the American Indian Higher Education Consortium. His past positions include serving as Chairman for the Spirit Lake Nation, Vice President of Academic Affairs for Cankdeska Cikana Community College, and Assistant Professor at the Center for Rural Health at the University of North Dakota School of Medicine and Health Sciences.

Much of his published research is focused on Native elders’ health risk and disparities, American Indian veterans’ access to healthcare, and American Indians behavioral risk factors. During his tenure as the Spirit Lake Chairman, he provided three national testimonies in support of child protection legislation, disparities, and the resources necessary to bring parity to tribal systems.

Dr. McDonald graduated from Cankdeska Cikana Community College in 1993 with an Associate of Arts in Liberal Arts, followed by another associates in Business Administration from the University of North Dakota (UND) Lake Region in 1997. He went on to complete a bachelors and master’s in Sociology from University of North Dakota in 1998 and 2000 and his Ph.D in Educational Foundations and Research in 2003. Dr. McDonald is a U.S. Army veteran and resides in Bismarck, North Dakota with his wife Francine.


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