Heather Valdez Freedman
Heather Valdez Freedman serves as TLPI’s Deputy Director, providing oversight for programmatic operations, as well as overseeing TLPI’s tribal-state collaboration work. Heather has been with TLPI since 2006 and has over 15 years of experience working on policy issues in Indian country, with a focus on tribal criminal justice systems. She received her master’s degree in public policy from the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard, where her focus was criminal justice policy in Indian country. She also holds a master’s degree in American Indian studies from UCLA. She has researched and written in the areas of tribal legal and community development and California tribal history. Her experience includes serving as project director for several research-related projects in Indian country, including the UCLA Native Nations Law and Policy Center’s nationwide assessment of Public Law 280, tribal liaison for tribal court grantees in California, and consultant for the Gabrieleno/Tongva tribal recognition project. She is an instructor for the UCLA Tribal Learning Community and Educational Exchange and the series co-editor of the Tribal Legal Studies textbook series.