Jonathan Nez, MPA (Diné/Navajo)

Vice President, Navajo Nation

Tribal Advisory Committee Co-Chairman, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry

Avid marathon runner, and supporter of the Running for a Stronger and Healthier Navajo Nation initiative

The Honorable Jonathan Nez, the elected Vice President of the Navajo Nation since early 2015, was born into the Áshiihí Clan (Salt People) and born for the Ta’neeszahnii Clan (Tangle clan) of the Diné people.  He has for more than a decade embraced the call of public service, and early on renewed the heritage of his grandfather, H.T. Donald, who had been the Navajo Nation Council Delegate for Shonto Chapter.  He was elected as Shonto Chapter Vice President, and served three terms as a Navajo Nation Council Delegate, representing the chapters of Shonto, Oljato, Tsah Bi Kin and Navajo Mountain.  He also served as a member of the Navajo County Board of Supervisors for District 1 until being chosen as the running mate for Navajo Nation President Russell Begaye.

Vice President Nez holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Political Science, and a Masters of Public Administration, from Northern Arizona University.  As a public official, he has believed strongly in the crucial importance of education, has diligently attended to public health issues, and has advocated for empowerment of local communities for self-reliance and self-betterment.   He has been representing Native peoples as the Tribal Advisory Committee Co-Chairman for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and its Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry.  He has worked closely with CDC executives and medical experts on matters such as prevention of infectious diseases at the community level, and culturally sensitive strategies for preventing suicides among young people.

Vice President Nez has sought to provide an ambitious personal lifestyle example for health improvement, through his efforts as an avid long-distance runner.   He has competed in multiple marathons, and he ran more than 150 miles for the 2015 Running for a Stronger and Healthier Navajo Nation event, a 435-mile run circling the Navajo Nation.  His current goal is to run a marathon in each of the 50 states of the U.S.  He proposed that P-POD hold a 2017 pre-conference run in Diné/Navajo country, and we are delighted to join him in this endeavor!  See below….

We’re very excited to announce an optional extra pre-conference event, free to P-POD registrants:  On Weds. May 17, starting 5:30 or 5:45 pm (subject to slight change), in the Navajo Nation about 36 miles from Albuquerque, a noncompetitive group RUN/walk (5K run, 1 mile walk options) will be led by Scott Jurek (named by Runners World as one of the 10 greatest runners of all time) and Jonathan Nez (Vice President of the Navajo Nation)….  who will, by the way, be our 1st two speakers at conference opening on Thursday.  Buses will load up near P-POD’s university conference site around 4 pm.  A plant-based natural foods dinner will be provided around 7 or 7:30 pm at the run site, and buses will load up for the return trip after that.  Driving directions for those not choosing bus travel, will be provided to registrants.

Free pre-registration for the run/walk is required SEPARATELY from P-POD conference registration, and is being handled by our co-sponsor PCRM at: