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Yurok Telecommunication Corporation Hires New CEO

Native Attorney Kori Cordero Brings a Wealth of Applicable Experience to the Position

The Yurok Telecommunications Corporation (Yurok Telecoms) has selected Kori Cordero to serve as its Chief Executive Officer as of May 17, 2023.

“I’m very excited to take on this new role and pursue the vision of the Yurok Tribal Council and Yurok Telecoms Board of Directors. As the new CEO, I will be dedicating much of my time toward internal capacity building; workforce development; strengthening our partnerships with tribal, federal and state agencies; and, securing more funds to finish the work necessary to ensure high-speed internet is available throughout the Yurok Ancestral Territory,” said Yurok Telecoms CEO, Kori Cordero.

Cordero has been a key part of the Yurok Tribe’s and Yurok Telecoms’ efforts to bring broadband to the Yurok Ancestral Territory. Since 2019, they have worked to help advance the Yurok Tribe’s broadband initiatives while serving in multiple leadership roles within the tribal government, including Deputy General Counsel for the Yurok Office of the Tribal Attorney, Director of the Yurok Office of Self Governance and the Yurok Telecoms outside legal counsel. The tribally and state-licensed attorney has advocated for the rights of the Yurok Tribe before the California Public Utilities Commission, Federal Communications Commission, and through consultation with federal and state government partners. Additionally, Cordero successfully negotiated a $5.5 million settlement between the Yurok Tribe and Frontier Communications for service issues on the Yurok Reservation.

In Spring of 2022, Cordero was appointed to the executive team managing Yurok Telecoms. Yurok Telecoms, a recipient of $61 million grant from the federal Tribal Broadband Connectivity Program (“NTIA Grant”), is developing an extensive broadband infrastructure project on the Yurok Reservation and along highway 101 from Crescent City to Orick. Cordero was assigned to be the lead on grant management and project implementation from the outset; drawing from extensive grant and contract management experiences from their previous roles at the Tribal Law & Policy Institute. The NTIA grant is in the engineering phase and construction is slated to begin in 2024.

In addition to legal, broadband and grant management experience, Cordero has a strong background in contract negotiations, human resources policy development and the administration of collaborative projects involving private, non-profit and government entities.

Outside of work, Cordero dedicates their time volunteering to advance the rights of tribes and increase the number of Native people entering the legal profession. Cordero currently serves on the board of the ACLU-Northern California and has held a myriad of leadership positions within the American Bar Association and National Native American Bar Association.

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