Rebecca Adamson is a Indigenous economist, leader, Cherokee activist, and ground-breaking indigenous woman. She is the founder and former president of First Peoples Worldwide, the first US-based global Indigenous Peoples NGO. She holds a distinct perspective on how indigenous people’s values and economic systems can transform the business models of today. Ms. Adamson was the first Native American to serve on the board of Calvert Investment Funds, one of the largest socially responsible investment management companies in the United States. She was also the first Native American Schwab Social Entrepreneur for 5 years at the World Economic Forum Davos 2005 – 2010.
In 1980, she established First Nations Development Institute, the premiere Native American development nonprofit in the United States and First Peoples Worldwide, in 2005, Ms. Adamson has established a new field of culturally appropriate, values-driven development. The organization focuses on funding local development projects in Indigenous communities all over the world while creating bridges between these communities and corporations, governments, NGOs and investors in their regions.
In 2012, Ms. Adamson was featured as one of the most influential women in America as part of the PBS program MAKERS: Women Who Make America. She has delivered hundreds of speeches and presentations, most recently at the Bioneers Conference in the fall of 2012. She has published extensively on indigenous economics and human rights issues, and is the co-author of The Color of Wealth – The Story behind the U.S. Racial Wealth Divide, which won the Myers Outstanding Book Award in 2006.
Ms. Adamson holds a Master of Science in Economic Development from Southern New Hampshire University, where she has also taught a graduate course on Indigenous Economics, and a Doctor of Humane Letters degree from Dartmouth College.