Board of Directors

The NCFC Executive Board has seven members who meet on a bi-monthly basis. Members of the Board serve on numerous other national boards and task forces where they bring the Frontier “voice” to other groups.

Current Board Members


Caroline Ford, President (California) is an Assistant Dean Emeritus in Frontier and Rural Health-University of Nevada School of Medicine and served for 27+ years. She held the position as the longest serving director of a State Office of Rural Health when she retired from the University in July of 2011.  She has directed local Wellness/Community Health programs for the Tahoe Forest Health System, and served on the first National Advisory Committee on Rural Health, appointed by then Secretary of Health and Human Services Dr. Louis W. Sullivan. Ford has also served as President of the National Organization of State Offices of Rural Health and has been active in the American Public Health Association since 1978.  She is currently Chair of the Tahoe Truckee Future Without Drug Dependence. She has a bachelor’s degree in Community Health Education and a master’s degree in Public Health.

Board_Magdaleno-ManzanaresMagdaleno Manzanarez (New Mexico) holds a Doctorate of Political Science, a Master of Public Administration and a graduate certificate in the administration of non-profit agencies. He currently teaches political science at Western New Mexico University and is the Chair of the Department of Social Sciences. Manzanarez is directly involved in the development of the curriculum for the certificate in the administration of non-profit organizations. His primary responsibilities have been to bring together representatives from the community, university administrators, and faculty to discuss the curriculum and parameters of this program. He is also working in the identification and description of specific courses for adoption by the university’s Instruction and Curriculum Committee. The university’s Board of Regents has approved this academic initiative.

Board_Deborah-PopperDeborah E. Popper (New Jersey) teaches geography at the City University of New York’s College of Staten Island, where she also participates in the environmental science, international studies, and American studies programs. She also teaches as a visiting professor at Princeton University’s Environmental Institute. Professor Popper has written on transformations of the American frontier, both in its current incarnation as the American West and its earlier, more Eastern embodiment. She is now exploring how different American regions have historically responded to long-term population loss. Professor Popper serves on the governing board of the American Geographical Society, the country’s oldest national geographic organization. She is an associate fellow of the Center for Great Plains Studies at the University of Nebraska and on the advisory board of Ecocity Builders. She has a bachelors degree in history from Bryn Mawr College, a masters degree in library science from Rosary College, and a masters and doctorate in geography from Rutgers University.

Board_Frank-PopperFrank J. Popper (New Jersey) teaches in the Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy at Rutgers University, where he also participates in the Geography and American Studies Departments. He is frequently a visiting professor in the Civil and Environmental Engineering Department at Princeton University. He is the author of several books. He serves on the boards of the American Land Publishing Project, the American Planning Association, Ecocity Builders, and the Great Plains Restoration Council. His article “The Great Plains: From Dust to Dust” (Planning, December 1987), written with his wife, Deborah Popper, put forward the controversial Buffalo Commons thesis that has stimulated an ongoing national debate about the future of the Great Plains region. The Poppers have also written extensively about the American frontier. He has a masters degree in public administration and a doctorate in political science, both from Harvard University.


Honorary Board Members

Board_Gar-ElisonGar Elison, Distinguished Director (Utah) retired as the first president of the NCFC Board of Directors and as Executive Director of the Utah Medical Education Council in 2009. He has served in different capacities in health agencies for over thirty years, including as an Executive Board member of the National Academy for State Health Policy, chair of the Primary Care and Prevention Steering Committee, and as a member of the Access for the Uninsured Steering Committee. He has a bachelors degree in political science from Brigham Young University and a masters in library science with a minor in public administration from the University of Oklahoma.

PEO001-00043Louis LaRose (Nebraska) is an enrolled member of the Winnebago Tribe of Nebraska. From 1993-2005, LaRose served as Bison Caretaker for the Winnebago Bison Project whose mission is to restore bison to the Winnebago Indian Reservation in a manner that promotes cultural enhancement, spiritual revitalization and personal health, ecological restoration and economic development. He also served five years as Chairman of the Winnebago Tribe of Nebraska. LaRose is a past vice chairman of the American Indian Higher Education Consortium, the steering committee of the Native American Rights Fund and was instrumental in establishing Nebraska Indian Community College. He has been interim president of Little Priest Tribal College. LaRose volunteers as a mediator for the Nebraska Justice Center.

Board_Carol-MillerCarol Miller, MPH, (New Mexico) is currently a full time community volunteer and activist. She is the President of the Ojo Sarco (NM) Community Center. Miller was a founder of the Frontier Education Center, served as President from 1997-2001 and Executive Director of the National Center for Frontier Communities for ten years. Miller has lived in a frontier mountain village in northern New Mexico since 1976. She has held Presidential appointments in both the Reagan and Clinton Administrations, serving as a Commissioned Officer in the US Public Health Service in the 1980’s and in 1993 was a Presidential Appointee to the White House Health Care Task Force. Miller served two terms as President of the New Mexico Public Health Association, represented the Frontier Constituency Group on the board of the National Rural Health Association for six years, and served six terms as a Governing Councilor of the American Public Health Association.

Board_Antonio-ManzanaresAntonio J. Manzanares (New Mexico) is a self-employed rancher who lives in the beautiful mountains of the northern part of the state. He and his wife, Molly, are owners of Shepherd’s Lamb, the only certifiied organic lamb business in the state. He is a long-time community activist who has been involved in rural health care, sustainable community development and resource protection. Manzanares has served on a number of boards, including the Rio Arriba County Planning Board, the Board of Directors of La Clinica del Pueblo de Rio Arriba, a nationally recognized community health center, the Board of Directors of Ganados del Valle, a grassroots community cooperative, the Upper Chama Soil and Water Conservation District and the New Mexico Sheep and Wool Council. He is a recipient of the New Mexico Public Health Association President’s Award for his efforts to promote the health and economic well-being of his community. Manzanares has a bachelors degree in psychology from the University of New Mexico.



David Squire (Utah) was the Assistant Dean of Finance at the University of Utah Dental School. He previously served as Executive Director of the Utah Medical Education Council, a state agency that coordinates funding for graduate medical education, determines healthcare workforce requirements, advises state government and makes policy recommendations, and addresses other various healthcare workforce issues in preserving health professions education in Utah. David received a Master’s Degree in Public Administration from the Brigham Young University School of Management and a Bachelor of Science Degree in Accounting from Utah State University. He had extensive experience in accounting, auditing, budgeting, and Medicaid and Medicare payment policies. David had also served as the president of the Utah chapter of the Healthcare Financial Management Association.


Bob Gough (South Dakota) was an attorney with graduate degrees in sociology and cultural anthropology specializing in cultural ecology. He worked with American Indian Tribes on cultural and natural resource issues for over 40 years, particularly in the Great Lakes and Great Plains regions. He served as the first director of the Rosebud Sioux Tribal Utility Commission (1993-96), and as Secretary of the Intertribal Council On Utility Policy (1994).He participated in tribal WAPA negotiations for Indian reservation allocations of federal hydroelectric power in the mid-1990s and in the congressionally mandated Sec. 2606 Tribal wind and federal hydropower integration feasibility study (2009). In addition, he maintained a private law practice on indigenous rights and has conducted outreach activities to the Native Alaskan and American Indian communities on behalf of the federal Wind Powering America program.