Jack F. Trope is the Executive Director of the Association on American Indian Affairs (AAIA) and is located in Rockville, Maryland. AAIA is a 91 year old Indian advocacy and service organization. An all-Native Board governs AAIA and represents a diversity of tribes and geography.
Before joining AAIA in 2001, Mr. Trope was Director of the Western Area Office in New Mexico for the Save the Children Federation. Prior to his stint at Save the Children, Mr. Trope held a number of legal positions, including having been a partner with the law firm of Sant’Angelo & Trope for 8 years, a senior staff attorney with AAIA for 6 years and an Assistant Counsel to two New Jersey governors in the 1980s. Much of his legal work has focused in the areas of Native cultural preservation, including the protection of sacred lands and repatriation issues, and Indian child welfare.
Mr. Trope played an instrumental role in obtaining the enactment of and working to implement the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act (NAGPRA), including working with tribes and Native organizations on specific repatriations. He has also worked with tribes to protect their sacred places, including representing the Medicine Wheel Coalition in negotiations with the Forest Service which culminated a ground-breaking programmatic agreement and historic preservation plan to protect the sacred Bighorn Medicine Wheel/Medicine Mountain in Wyoming. He has authored numerous articles, narrated videos, and conducted workshops on the protection of sacred places and the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act. He is currently overseeing an AAIA project whose goal is to promote the international repatriation of human remains and cultural items.
Mr. Trope has also been involved with Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA) implementation issues since 1985 in a variety of capacities. He has worked on tribal-state agreements, litigated child welfare cases, drafted tribal child welfare codes, provided training on ICWA, the Adoption and Safe Families Act (ASFA), Title IV-E, and tribal governance issues and advocated for changes in federal law enhancing the ability of tribes to operate child welfare programs through such laws as the 2006 reauthorization of the Promoting Safe and Stable Families Act and the Fostering Connections to Success and Increasing Adoptions Act of 2008. He has authored a number of articles on child welfare issues, including a paper on the legal requirements of Title IV-E for the NCAI Policy Research Center. Over the last few years, Mr. Trope has expanded his work involving children at risk to include juvenile justice issues.
Mr. Trope currently serves as a Board member for the Native Ways Federation, a consortium of seven national Indian non-profit organizations, and the American Indian Ritual Object Repatriation Foundation. He graduated cum laude from Harvard Law School and summa cum laude from Rutgers College.