Assistant Secretary Sweeney names director of the Bureau of Indian Affairs

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Bureau of Indian Affairs Director Darryl LaCounte

WASHINGTON—Darryl LaCounte, a citizen of the Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa Indians in North Dakota, who has served as the acting director of the Bureau of Indian Affairs since April 2018 has been named director of the BIA.

“When I was asked to step in to be the BIA’s acting director, I felt a strong responsibility to the people behind the work – the Indian Affairs employees, the tribes, and the Indian and Alaska Native people we serve,” LaCounte said.  “In accepting this appointment as BIA director, I want to thank Assistant Secretary Sweeney for her confidence and support. Because I believe in our mission, I am committed to improving the way we accomplish it and to upholding the federal trust responsibility now and for future generations.”

LaCounte began his federal career in 1988 at the Bureau’s Wind River Agency in Fort Washakie, Wyo., as an oil and gas specialist in the real estate services branch of the Office of Trust Services.  Since 2015, he had been regional director of the Bureau’s Rocky Mountain Regional Office in Billings, Mont., which serves eight federally recognized tribes in Montana and Wyoming. He went on to serve as the acting deputy bureau director for Trust Services at the BIA’s headquarters in Washington, D.C., beginning in February 2018.

LaCounte received a Bachelor of Arts degree from Eastern Montana College (now Montana State University) in 1986.