President Obama Nominates Kevin Washburn to be Assistant Secretary for Indian Affairs;

Published on Aug 03, 2012

NCAI President Jefferson Keel Statement of Support for Nomination

Yesterday, the White House announced the nomination of Kevin Washburn to serve at the Department of Interior as the next Assistant Secretary for Indian Affairs. Professor Washburn is the Dean of the New Mexico School of Law, and a pre-eminent scholar on federal Indian law and policy with a particular focus on law enforcement.  Washburn worked closely with NCAI in the development of the Tribal Law and Order Act of 2010.  Washburn is a citizen of the Chickasaw Nation of Oklahoma. NCAI President Keel offered his strong support for Washburn's nomination.

"Kevin is a member of my tribe, the Chickasaw Nation, and we have known each other for many years.  He has had a remarkable career, and I am very confident in his abilities," said Jefferson Keel, President of NCAI and the Lt. Governor of the Chickasaw Nation. "Law enforcement and trust reform will be two of the most important issues for the BIA in the coming years.  Kevin's experience as a federal prosecutor will be a great benefit.  I am also very glad that he has extensive management experience as Dean at the University of New Mexico.  The BIA is moving toward a new era as a partner with tribal governments, and I believe that Kevin will be a very strong leader. "

From the White House Press Release: Kevin K. Washburn is Dean of the University of New Mexico School of Law, a position he has held since June 2009. Prior to that, he served as the Rosenstiel Distinguished Professor of Law at the University of Arizona James E. Rogers College of Law from 2008 to 2009 and as an Associate Professor of Law at the University of Minnesota Law School from 2002 to 2008. From 2007 to 2008, Mr. Washburn was the Oneida Indian Nation Visiting Professor at Harvard Law School. Previously, he served as General Counsel for the National Indian Gaming Commission from 2000 to 2002, and as an Assistant United States Attorney in Albuquerque, New Mexico, from 1997 to 2000.  Mr. Washburn was a trial attorney in the Indian Resources Section of the U.S. Department of Justice from 1994 to 1997.  Mr. Washburn is a member of the Chickasaw Nation of Oklahoma.  He earned a B.A. from the University of Oklahoma and a J.D. from Yale Law School.  

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