Ryan Tafoya has been the Marketing & Special Events Manager for the Hopi Education Endowment Fund (HEEF) since 2016. In this role, Ryan is responsible for managing HEEF’s social media pages, website, online/email/print campaigns, press relations, as well as organizing special events and outreach for the HEEF. 

Ryan is from the Jicarilla Apache Tribe (Ollero [White] Clan),  in Dulce, New Mexico and is also of Jewish, German, and Belgian descent. Ryan graduated from Dulce High School in 2002 before going on to attend New Mexico Highlands University and the University of Phoenix. In 2012, Ryan received a bachelor’s degree in English-Communications ­from Fort Lewis College where he also tutored in English and received Sigma Tau Delta and Magna Cum Laude honors.

Before becoming a part of the HEEF organization, Ryan had worked a variety of different jobs, including wildland firefighter, natural gas plant operator, and construction. He also did freelance/pro bono work in website maintenance, editing, various IT and A/V, and English tutoring.

Outside of his work with the HEEF, Ryan has enjoyed being a mentor to Hopi youth through HOYI (Hopi Opportunity Youth Initiative) and AVID’s (Advancement Via Individual Determination) mentorship program. He is also a member of the Hopi Food Co-op. 

Ryan and his wife, Alyssa (Hopi), have one son (Rael). The Tafoya’s enjoy almost anything to do with the outdoors, including hiking, camping, and traveling.