Navajo President Applauds Senate Confirmation of New Assistant Secretary of Indian Affairs
WASHINGTON—Navajo Nation President Ben Shelly commended Friday night’s Senate confirmation of Kevin Washburn to the Assistant Secretary of Indian Affairs post at the U.S. Department of the Interior.
“The Navajo Nation looks forward to working with Assistant Secretary Washburn on advancing issues of importance to Indian country,” President Shelly said.
Washburn is a citizen of the Chickasaw Nation and has 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 Law School 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.
“I have committed most of my adult life to understanding and seeking to reform federal Indian policy so that it serves American Indians and tribes better,” Wasburn said in his confirmation testimony before the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs.