NACF Welcomes New VPs


NACF is excited to announce new staff Barbara Mumby-Huerta, Vice President of Programs and Partnerships, and Deniz H. Tasdemiroglu Conger, Vice President of Development. Mumby-Huerta descends from the Powhatan Confederacy on her maternal side and her paternal line includes KonKow descent and Spanish heritage.

Mumby-Huerta is replacing former Director of Programs Francene Blythe, who left NACF last year to return to her homeland in Nebraska, and Conger is replacing former VP of Finance and Operations, Rupert Ayton, who oversaw NACF’s Development department and recently retired after 10 years of service to the organization.

I am honored and humbled to join the NACF team at such a pivotal time. Building upon the incredible work that NACF has accomplished over the past decade, I am excited by the potential of the next decade and expanding our programming so that we can continue to amplify the voices of Indigenous Artists and communities throughout the country.

—Barbara Mumby-Huerta (Powhatan Confederacy Descent), NACF VP of Programs and Partnerships

After a national search, NACF selected Barbara Mumby-Huerta as the Vice President of Programs and Partnerships. Mumby-Huerta comes from a career in California, where she spent the last 15 years working in philanthropy and was previously the Director of Community Investments for the San Francisco Arts Commission. As a 2019 Open Society Racial Equality fellow, she is working to shift narratives and push boundaries around the authentic representation of Indigenous Peoples in the public realm. Mumby-Huerta received a BA in Studio Arts and Native American Studies from the University of California, Berkeley, an MA in Museum Studies, and an MBA from John F. Kennedy University. She is also a practicing visual artist and uses the arts to engage community, address historical trauma and move policy. Mumby-Huerta’s extensive background is an asset to the NACF team as new programs are launched to support Native artists and community-driven projects impacting social, environmental and economic justice issues.

Through my first collaboration with NACF ten years ago and with my experience in creating community-centered campaigns and inclusive philanthropy programs, I have experienced early on NACF’s commitment and leadership to advance conversations, dialog, and action on the intersection of art and justice. I am passionate about the goals and vision for NACF’s new Center for Native Arts and Cultures and believe that this new building is one of our country’s most important cultural endeavors happening right now and I am honored to be part of it.

—Deniz H. Tasdemiroglu Conger, NACF VP of Development

Deniz H. Tasdemiroglu Conger is a nonprofit and fund development professional with more than 20 years of experience leading organizations and teams by building inclusive philanthropy models, program expansion, revenue growth, and transformational capital comprehensive campaigns. She has successfully led development programs for national and Oregon nonprofits in arts and culture, healthcare, housing and human services, and education, and believes in the transformative power of community-centered philanthropy. Her two most recent Portland-based capital campaigns have been recognized as innovative game-changing projects. Conger is also active as a volunteer and leader in the nonprofit sector. She is a University of Michigan alumna and holds undergraduate and graduate degrees in political science, environmental policy, and nonprofit administration. Her leadership and passion for NACF’s mission will be an excellent addition to our team.

“We are delighted to welcome Barbara and Deniz to the next evolution of NACF’s journey,” says NACF President/CEO Lulani Arquette. “Barbara’s strong leadership, community activism, and arts experience will be extremely valuable for expanding our program footprint and creating new partnerships at NACF. With a background in serious fundraising and capital campaigns, Deniz brings great potential and a wealth of knowledge to help move NACF toward new heights.

We are also grateful to have our new Director of Finance, Kevin Washington, who was featured in our May newsletter. Washington started in April when he took over for Rupert Ayton.