Gregory Mendoza, 46, is the 21st Governor of the Gila River Indian Community and the youngest elected to this office. He is the son of Joseph Mendoza and the late-Brenda Mendoza and resides in the village of Valin Thak (Goodyear) located in District Four of the Gila River Indian Community.
Gregory served on the Community Council for the Gila River Indian Community for seven months prior to being elected Governor. While on the Community Council, he was appointed as Chairman of the Education Standing Committee and a member of the Legislative Standing Committee. He was elected to Council while serving as Chief of Staff to Governor William R. Rhodes, a position he held for almost six years. He became interested in politics while teaching government fundamentals to multiple generations of youth as the Co-founder and Director to the nationally-recognized Akimel O'odham/Pee-Posh Youth Council.
Mendoza holds an Associate Degree in Tribal Management and Bachelor of Science Degree in Business Administration. In 1986, Gregory was named as one of the Outstanding Young Men of America and is the 1987 recipient of the Congressional Gold Medal for academic achievement and service.
He serves on non-profit boards that specialize in education, youth development, advocacy and public policy services for tribal government and non-profit organizations. Mendoza is currently a member of the Council of Trustees for United National Indian Tribal Youth, Inc. (UNITY) and member of the Native American Advisory Board for the Maricopa County Community College District (MCCCD). He served on the Board of Directors for Gila River Boys and Girls Clubs Auxiliary, Gila River Fair& Rodeo Commission, Gila River News Editorial Board, Kids Voting Arizona, Boys and Girls Clubs of the East Valley, Mesa Arts Academy, Vechij Himdag MashchamakuD, Maricopa Association of Governments, Youth Policy Advisory Committee and National Indian Education Association.
Mendoza has spent his entire professional life in community service. He is dedicated to promoting education for the Gila River Indian Community and in creating new opportunities for youth to flourish within the Community. He avidly supports building an environment in which our people can thrive and achieve a stronger sense of self-worth as individuals. He envisions our people reaching a higher level of health and wellness in order to become more actively engaged in building a stronger and healthier community.
Gregory is an active member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. His dedication to community service and his faith in Heavenly Father will continue to guide him in his administration as Governor of the Gila River Indian Community.
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