Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar today lauded President Obama's nomination of Kevin K. Washburn, a member of the Chickasaw Nation of Oklahoma, to serve as Assistant Secretary for Indian Affairs at the Department of the Interior.
"Kevin Washburn has a keen understanding of the many issues that affect Indian Country," Salazar said. "His strong professional and academic experience will be a key asset to the Department as we continue to strengthen the integrity of the government-to-government relationship with Indian tribes and empower Native American and Alaska Native communities. He will be an excellent addition to our team."
Washburn is currently serving as Dean at the University of New Mexico School of Law where he teaches courses in criminal and gaming law. He serves on numerous state boards, chairing the Judicial Selection Commission and the Judicial Compensation Commission for the state of New Mexico. He previously taught courses as a professor of law at the University of Minnesota Law School, Harvard Law School, and the University of Arizona James E. Rogers College of Law.
Prior to his current position, Washburn served as General Counsel to the National Indian Gaming Commission. He also served as an Assistant United States Attorney in New Mexico where he handled prosecutions in the violent crime division. As a trial attorney for the Department of Justice under the Clinton Administration, Washburn litigated affirmative cases on behalf of the United States in its role as trustee for Indian tribes.
Washburn received his J.D. from Yale Law School and his B.A. from the University of Oklahoma.