Chris has served as the President and CEO of the National Center for American Indian Enterprise Development since January of 2017. Prior to joining the National Center, Chris was an Associate Administrator at the U.S Small Business Administration (SBA), worked in Native American Affairs at the U.S. Department of the Treasury, and managed the Sequoyah Fund – an enterprise of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians. Mr. James is originally from Cherokee, North Carolina – home of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians – and is of Cherokee descent. From 2011 – 2016, Chris served as Associate Administrator at SBA, where he was a Senior Executive Service (SES) appointee of President Barack Obama overseeing the Office of Field Operations, Office of Intergovernmental Affairs, and the Office of Native American Affairs. His extensive portfolio included Native American outreach, program management, and tribal consultation.