Elsie M. Meeks
South Dakota Rural Development State Director
Elsie Meeks, an enrolled member of the Oglala Lakota Tribe, is the former executive director of First Nations Oweesta Corporation (OWEESTA), a subsidiary of First Nations Development Institute.
Elsie has over 20 years experience working for Native community economic development. Prior to her leadership and work at OWEESTA, Elsie was active for 15 years in the development and management of The Lakota Fund, a small business and microenterprise development loan fund on the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota . Elsie has recently completed a three-year term on the Federal Reserve Board's Consumer Advisory Council. She serves as chairperson of The Lakota Fund and sits on the boards of National Community Capital Association, Corporation for Enterprise Development and the Oglala Sioux Tribe Partnership for Housing. She is also an Advisory Council member of Native Nations Institute. She was appointed by former Senate Minority Leader Tom Daschle to serve on the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights in 1999 and was the first Native American to serve on the Commission.