J. Cedric Woods, a citizen of the Lumbee tribe of North Carolina, combines over a decade of tribal government experience with research and currently serves as director for the Institute for New England Native American Studies at the University of Massachusetts Boston.
The institute's purpose is to connect Native New England with university research, innovation, and education. Currently, he is working on projects with tribes in the areas of tribal government capacity building, Indian education, economic development, and chronic disease prevention.
Prior to arriving at UMass Boston, Cedric completed a study on the evolution of tribal government among the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe and the Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation. While pursuing his doctoral studies at the University of Connecticut, Cedric served in a variety of capacities for the Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation. These positions included director of career development, research analyst, tribal government spokesman, and deputy chief operating officer.
He has also served as a consultant for the National Museum of the American Indian, the Haliwa Saponi Indian Tribe of North Carolina, and the Mashantucket Pequot Museum and Research Center. At present, he is a member of the Board of Trustees of Plimoth Plantation, a bicultural living history museum in Plymouth, Massachusetts.