W. Richard West, Jr. is Founding Director Emeritus of the Smithsonian's National Museum of the American Indian (NMAI). Mr. West served as Director of NMAI from 2004 to 2007. Before becoming director of NMAI, Mr. West was a Partner in the Washington, D.C., office of Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson and, subsequently, in the Indian-owned Albuquerque law firm of Gover, Stetson, Williams & West, P.C. He has also served as General Counsel and Special Counsel to numerous Indian tribes and organizations. He serves as a Trustee of Ford Foundation and an Advisory Trustee of Environmental Defense Fund, Inc. Mr. West's board affiliations include serving as a trustee for Stanford University, Bacone College, the Kaiser Family Foundation, National Parks Conservation Association and the International Council of Museums. He is also a director of the American Indian Resources Institute. Mr. West was born in San Bernardino, Calif., and grew up in Muskogee, Okla. He is a member of the Cheyenne and Arapaho tribes of Oklahoma. He earned a bachelor of arts degree in American history from the University of Redlands in California, a master's degree in American history from Harvard University and a doctor of jurisprudence degree from Stanford University.