Levi Rickert, editor-in-chief in Native Briefs. Discussion »
WASHINGTON Yesterday, Kevin K. Washburn, a tribal citizen of the Chickasaw Nation of Oklahoma, was nominated by President Barack Obama to become the Assistant Secretary for Indian Affairs, Department of the Interior.
Kevin Washburn - Chickasaw
Mr. Washburn must be confirmed by the US Senate. Whether or not, his nomination will be acted on before the November Presidential election was not known on Thursday when his nomination was announced.
If confirmed, he will replace Larry Echo Hawk, who vacated the position to take a leadership position in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in April. Since then, Donald 'Del' Laverdure, Crow, has served as Acting Assistant Secretary.
Mr. Washburn is dean of the University of New Mexico School of Law, a position he has held since June 2009.
The University of New Mexico's Law School's website states:
"He brings a strong background in Indian law, criminal law and gambling law, including a prolific portfolio of books, book chapters, articles and congressional testimony.
Through his writings and testimony, he has influenced public policy in both criminal law in Indian country and gaming."
Prior to becoming dean at the University of New Mexico's School of Law, Mr. Washburn 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 US Department of Justice from 1994 to 1997.
He earned a BA from the University of Oklahoma and a JD from Yale Law School.
posted August 3, 2012 6:00 am edt