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Leonard Harjo

Seminole Nation

Leonard M. Harjo graduated from Harvard with a Bachelor of Art in Economics and a Master of Public and Private Management from Yale. He served two consecutive terms as chief of the Seminole Nation of Oklahoma.

Chief Harjo is a servant leader of unquestionable honesty, integrity and humility. He inspired and encouraged others to build their opportunities rather than create one for them. His vision established a foundation for a culturally and economically sustainable Seminole Nation. Chief Harjo sought to awaken the entrepreneurial spirit of the Seminole Nation by empowering people to develop strategic plans for achieving their goals. He said, “If you can gain a certain level of economic self-sufficiency, you get away from subsistence living. That allows you to think about a future and what we will do for our children as opposed to where we’re going to be living and what we will eat tomorrow.”

In addition to chief, his many roles included tribal planner, director of economic development for the Seminole Nation and executive director of the Muscogee (Creek) Nation Division of Health Administration. He also worked for the Oklahoma Indian Affairs Commission and the United Tribes of Western Oklahoma and Kansas.

Chief Harjo also served as a liaison to various tribal organizations and federal agencies, including Rural Enterprises Inc.’s board of directors and as a regent for Seminole State College. He currently serves as the chairman of the board of directors for the Seminole Nation Division of Commerce.
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