Jason Lambert, Chair

Respected throughout tribal economic development networks, Jason Lambert has committed himself to the improvement of both tribal and rural communities through strategic growth and advancement. With more than 13 years of service to tribal nations and rural communities, his accomplishments focus on strategic planning, responsive organizational growth, analyzing economic development projects and initiatives, community outreach and consensus building, capital project management, and comprehensive grant management.

From 2004 to 2012 Jason’s work focused on tribal and regional economic development with detailed work in strategic planning, project development and management, and grant administration. In 2012 Jason led the creation of the Division of Commerce for the EBCI to provide comprehensive strategy, planning, and execution for revenue-based activities for the tribe, with a focus on economic development and destination marketing. Most recently, Jason served in the capacity of Dean of Workforce Innovations and Economic Development for Southwestern Community College. In this role he had the primary responsibility of collaborating with the President, Executive Vice President and academic divisions to assess, develop, and continuously improve innovative workforce development, continuing education and personal professional development programs to meet the current and future needs of the local economy.

  • Formed and implemented a sovereign wealth fund strategy for tribal revenue diversification, securing a $95 million capital commitment
  • Provided strategic direction for regional workforce innovations and economic development initiatives for three-county service area
  • Led the creation of the EBCI Division of Commerce to provide comprehensive strategy, planning, and execution for revenue-based activities of economic development and destination marketing
  • Directed and implemented a brand-based, destination marketing strategy for Cherokee, resulting in double-digit increases in occupancy, visitation, sales, ADR, privilege tax, and Tribal levy
  • Expanded marketing into new mediums, obtaining three-times the national average in conversions
  • Analyzed and evaluated over $200 Million of potential economic development projects and initiatives
  • Managed and supervised more than $50 Million in capital improvement projects
  • Secured and managed over $30 Million in federal, state, and local grant-in-aid awards

Jason has prioritized the need to serve on regional and national committees and boards which has significantly broadened his network and advanced his knowledge base. He currently serves as the Chairman of Twelve Clans, Inc. (a Section 17 Corporation), Vice Chairman of EltuegCorporation (a Section 17 Corporation), Tennessee Valley Corridor Board of Directors, External Advisory Board for the UNC American Indian Center, Vice Chairman for the Cherokee Historical Association Board of Trustees, and previously on the Advantage West Regional Economic Development Council Board of Directors, among others.

An enrolled member of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians, Jason holds a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science with a Minor in American Indian Studies from the University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill and a Masters in Public Administration from the University of North Carolina - Pembroke.  He is a 2011 recipient of the National Center for American Indian Enterprise Development (NCAIED) ‘40 Under 40’ award, and has served on numerous panels at national conferences.  He resides in Whittier, North Carolina with his wife and two sons, and volunteers regularly with youth sports.