Navajo Nation President Commends Obama Administration for Naming Key Post at BIA

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Contact: Jared King
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For Immediate Release

Navajo Nation President Commends Obama Administration for Naming Key Post at Bureau of Indian Affairs

WASHINGTON—Navajo Nation President Ben Shelly commended the Obama administration for taking swift action in naming Kevin Washburn to become the Assistant Secretary of Indian Affairs at the U.S. Department of the Interior. Acting Assistant Secretary Del Laverdure has held the post since Larry Echo Hawk vacated it in late April of this year. 

“I am pleased that the Obama administration is acting swiftly to ensure that key positions for Indian Country are filled with qualified candidates. We appreciate the hard work that Mr. Laverdure has put while acting in this capacity,” President Shelly stated.

Washburn, a citizen of the Chickasaw Nation, served as Dean of the University of New Mexico School of Law since 2009. Before accepting the position with UNM, Washburn was with the James E. Rogers College of Law at the University of Arizona. He was on the faculty of the Minnesota Law School from 2002 to 2008.

Prior to becoming a professor, Washburn was a federal prosecutor in New Mexico, serving in the violent crimes section of the U.S. Attorney’s office. He was previously a trial lawyer with the U.S. Department of Justice and served as general counsel for the National Indian Gaming Commission.

Washburn has a law degree from Yale and a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Oklahoma. He is considered an expert in the field of federal Indian law and policy.

“The Navajo Nation is looking forward to his expertise assisting in the continued progress of Indian country,” President Shelly added.

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