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AFC Welcomes a New Trustee to the Board: Heather Obernolte

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Headshot of woman standing in front of building.
New appointee to the AFC Board of Trustees, Heather Obernolte. Image courtesy of Ms. Obernolte.


The American Folklife Center of the Library of Congress welcomes a new Congressional appointee to the Center’s Board of Trustees: Heather Obernolte, Ph.D. Appointed to the Board by House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, she will serve a term that expires June 1, 2028.

With a long history as a volunteer and community activism, she holds a doctorate in Public Administration from California Baptist University where she studied leadership skills for political party leaders. Prior to that she earned her master’s degree in Child Psychology at Pepperdine University.

In 1995, Heather and her husband, Jay, moved to Big Bear Lake (CA) where she quickly became involved in community organizations. Heather was a hotline supervisor, legal advocate, and counselor for DOVES (Domestic Violence Education and Services) for ten years. She also served as a member of the Board of Directors for DOVES for eight years, and Chairman for three years. During this time, she held a position on the Bear Valley Community Healthcare District Foundation Board of Directors, and joined Soroptimist International of Big Bear Valley, where she is still a member.

In 1998, Heather and Jay began their family. Heather has always been actively involved with their children. She was the founding President of the Big Bear Mommy and Me club, was involved with Cub Scouts, coached Odyssey of the Mind (a creative thinking competition) for 11 years, and she home schooled the boys for 9 years!

Heather started the next phase of her life adventures in 2014 when her husband, Rep. Jay Obernolte (R-California, 23rd District), was elected to the California State Legislature. She continues to be a strong supporting partner in this endeavor with his service in Washington, DC.

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