UNM Native American Budget & Policy Institute Appoints Carmela Roybal Executive Director : UNM Newsroom

Dr. Carmela Roybal has been hired as the new executive director of the Native American Budget and Policy Institute at the University of New Mexico. In his new role, Roybal will lead and oversee research, budget and policy analysis, policy advocacy, and continue to promote the Institute as a resource for New Mexico’s 23 Pueblos, tribes, and nations.

Dr. Carmela Roybal

Royal earned his Ph.D. in sociology from UNM in 2021, and holds a dual master’s degree in bioethics and global public health from the American University of Sovereign Nations (AUSN), as well as a second master’s degree in sociology. However, she is no stranger to the Institute. While pursuing his two graduate studies at UNM, Roybal has contributed to several research projects addressing a variety of areas and priority needs of New Mexico tribes, including early childhood development, the use of opioids and COVID-19.

In addition to her research contributions, she has been able to provide policy analysis on several projects through several project partnerships between the Institute, New Mexico State, and other universities. With his background in research and policy, and his understanding of New Mexico’s 23 tribes, Roybal will further the Institute’s mission to empower Indigenous communities to create tribal change and solutions for their people.

“It is an honor to serve our communities through research and policy. The Institute has the potential to have a real impact on the structural systems that affect the health and well-being of our tribal communities and to help build an equitable future for the sovereign nations of New Mexico,” said Royal. “With the support and guidance of our governance council, I plan to expand NABPI’s community networks as well as our research and advocacy teams.”

Roybal is originally from Ohkay Owingeh and proud to be from northern New Mexico. Currently, she is Visiting Professor of Human Rights, Health, and Medical Sociology at AUSN in Sacaton, Arizona, and Research Fellow at University College Dublin, School of Social Policy, Social Work, and Social Justice, in Ireland. She was also a Robert Wood Johnson Health Policy Fellow at UNM’s Social Policy Center, formerly UNM’s RWJF Health Policy Center. Roybal is a medical sociologist, bioethicist, and policy analyst whose community-based research projects integrate race, gender, and class disparities in health, education, and politics, with a focus on indigenous peoples and marginalized communities in the United States and around the world. .

The UNM Native American Budget and Policy Institute (NABPI) conducts research, budget and policy analysis, and advocacy work to empower Native American communities to create self-determined and systematic change to improve Native lives. Through its activities, the Institute also seeks to improve and assist public policy decisions at all levels of government from a Native American perspective.

Currently, NABPI’s work focuses on local tribal priority areas such as health, education and governance, as well as national issues such as India’s Child Welfare Law. The Institute is a project of the UNM Center for Social Policy and the New Mexico Center for Law and Poverty, in conjunction with the Santa Fe Indian School Leadership Institute, and supported by the WK Kellogg Foundation. Although an entity of UNM, the Institute is uniquely overseen by a 10-member governing council comprised of former and current New Mexico tribal leaders and experts in New Mexico tribal politics.

For more information, visit the Native American Budget and Policy Institute.

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