The Morris K. Udall Foundation is an independent agency of the Executive Branch of the United States Government. The Foundation was established by the Congress in 1992 to honor Morris Udall’s thirty years of service in the House of Representatives. The full official name of the Foundation is Morris K. Udall Scholarship and Excellence in National Environmental Policy Foundation. The President of the United States appoints its board of trustees with the advice and consent of the Senate.
The purpose and motto of the Foundation is “Scholarship and Excellence in national environmental policy.” To support this purpose the Foundation’s programs are:
- Annual scholarships and fellowships to outstanding students who intend to pursue careers related to the natural environment. A student who receives such a scholarship may be known as Udall Scholar.
- Annual scholarships and internships to outstanding Native American and Alaska Native college students who intend to pursue careers in health care and tribal public policy.
- Parks in Focus, which takes young people into national and state parks to expose them to the grandeur of the nation's natural resources and instill a sustainable appreciation for the environment.
- Host an annual conference or discussion of contemporary environmental or Native American issues.
- A program for environmental policy research and a program for environmental conflict resolution at the Udall Center for Studies in Public Policy at the University of Arizona.
- The U.S. Institute for Environmental Conflict Resolution, which provides mediation and other services to assist in resolving federal environmental conflicts.
- The Native Nations Institute for Leadership, Management, and Policy (NNI), which focuses on leadership education for tribal leaders and on policy research. The Morris K. Udall Foundation and the University of Arizona founded NNI, which is an outgrowth of the research programs of the Harvard Project on American Indian Economic Development.
Morris K. Udall Undergraduate Scholarships
According to the Foundation
the Foundation expects to award 80 scholarships of up to $5,000 and 50 honorable mentions of $350 on the basis of merit to sophomore and junior-level college students who:
- Have demonstrated commitment to careers related to the environment; or:
- Have demonstrated commitment to careers related to tribal public policy or health care, and are Native American or Alaska Native
Native American Congressional Internships
According to the Foundation
, the Native American Congressional Internship Program provides Native Americans and Alaska Natives with an insider’s view of the federal government. The ten-week internship in Washington, D.C.
places students in Senate and House offices, committees, Cabinet departments and the White House, where they are able to observe government decision-making processes first-hand.
In 2006, the Foundation expects to award 12 internships on the basis of merit to Native Americans and Alaska Natives who:
- Are college junior or senior, recent graduates from tribal or four-year colleges, or graduate or law students;
- Have demonstrated an interest in fields related to tribal public policy, such as tribal governance, tribal law, Native American education, Native American health, Native American justice, natural resource protection, and Native American economic development.
The Foundation’s activities are supported by two distinct funds in the U.S. Treasury
. Educational activities are supported primarily by interest generated by a trust fund
established by Congress; the Foundation may also accept private donations for educational activities. The activities of the U.S. Institute for Environmental Conflict Resolution, which provides assessment, mediation, facilitation and related services to assist in resolving federal environmental conflicts, are supported by annual appropriations and fees charged for services.
As of 2008
the Foundation’s top management comprises:
- Ellen Wheeler, Executive Director
- Kirk Emerson, Director, U.S. Institute for Environmental Conflict Resolution
- Philip Lemanski, Chief Financial Officer and Director of Education Programs
- Lynne Gillette, Director of Operations, U.S. Institute for Environmental Conflict Resolution