Sarah Eagle Heart is an accomplished and internationally experienced executive focused on serving Indigenous Peoples. She is currently serving as the Chief Executive Officer of Native Americans in Philanthropy since September 2015. Ms. Eagle Heart is a member of the Oglala Lakota Nation of Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota.
Ms. Eagle Heart’s has vast experience working at small nonprofit organizations and corporate tribal organizations, as well as large international non-governmental organizations. She has built upon her traditional cultural knowledge to understand the essential need for cross cultural communication, accurate history education, mutual respect, collaboration, and advocacy.
As CEO of Native Americans in Philanthropy, a national membership-based nonprofit promotes reciprocity and investment, she works to build healthy and sustainable communities for Native peoples. Native Americans in Philanthropy was founded in 1990 to intentionally build collaboration/partnerships across communities and sectors as a convener for learning, sharing, listening to leverage resources in Native communities.
Ms. Eagle Heart recently held positions of Team Leader for Diversity and Ethnic Ministries and Program Officer for Indigenous Ministry serving on the staff of the Presiding Bishop of The Episcopal Church in New York, New York (The Episcopal Church serves two million members in 16 countries). Under her leadership, The Episcopal Church became the first major denomination to repudiate the Doctrine of Discovery focusing programmatic education and advocacy for accurate history education, cultural teachings, healing, asset based community development and public policy initiatives. In these roles she collaborated with cross sectional diverse communities within the faith based network nationally and internationally from 2009-2015.
Ms. Eagle Heart’s corporate experience with tribally owned enterprises includes four years at Viejas Casino and Outlet Center in San Diego, California as a Marketing and Advertising Coordinator from 2000-2004. She also worked as a summer journalism intern for two years for Indian Country Today covering Rosebud Sioux Tribe and Oglala Sioux Tribe while in college.
She is a 2014 recipient of the National Center for American Indian Enterprise Development’s “40 under 40 Award”, which recognizes emerging Native American leaders who have demonstrated leadership, initiative and dedication and made significant contributions in business and/or their community. Ms. Eagle Heart holds an M.B.A. with an emphasis in Global Management from University of Phoenix in San Diego, CA. She also holds a B.A. Mass Communication with an emphasis in Journalism & Multi-Media and B.A. American Indian Studies from Black Hills State University in Spearfish, SD.
Ms. Eagle Heart has been on the forefront of advocacy issues and movement building since she was 17 years old. Along with her twin sister, she protested high school mascot “Warrior Homecoming Ceremony” which depicted non-native high school students portraying a stereotypical enactment of a fictional ceremony in which the “Medicine Man” chooses a “Warrior Princess” for the “Big Chief”. After four years of protesting this spiritually degrading, racist and sexist event; the sisters gained tribal support ending the homecoming event. This experience provided the foundation for her life’s work serving indigenous peoples for racial equity and inclusion.