Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar today announced that Bureau of Indian Education Director Keith Moore will be leaving his position at the Department of the Interior. Selected by then-Assistant Secretary of Indian Affairs Larry Echo Hawk, Director Moore led the nation's only federal education system for American Indian and Alaska Native students and implemented President Obama's national initiatives for educational advancement in Indian Country.
"Over the past two years, Keith has provided great leadership and direction for the Bureau of Indian Education, carrying forward President Obama's programs to improve the lives and quality of education for American Indian and Alaska Native people," Secretary Salazar said. "He is a dedicated educational administrator and we thank him for his exceptional service to Indian Country and the Nation."
Moore will be returning to his home state of South Dakota to serve as state director for the Fellowship of Christian Athletes. Following Moore's departure this month, BIE Chief of Staff Brian Drapeaux will serve as Acting Director until a new Director is named.
Under the White House Initiative on American Indian and Alaska Native Education, the Obama Administration has coordinated federal agency programs to improve educational opportunities for American Indian and Alaska Native students. The Administration has also made strategic investments in Indian education under the American Recovery and Investment Acts, funding significant new school construction and repairs.
"It has been an extremely rewarding experience to lead the Bureau of Indian Education," Moore said. "I want to thank Secretary Salazar for the opportunity to direct the BIE and to implement initiatives to help improve the lives of thousands of students through the power of education."
The BIE operates a federal school system for Indian students, overseeing 183 facilities on 64 reservations in 23 states, consisting of 123 grant schools and 3 contract schools controlled by tribes, and 57 schools directly operated by the BIE. About 42,000 students are educated in BIE-funded elementary and secondary schools throughout the country. The BIE implements federal education laws, such as the No Child Left Behind Act.
"Keith was instrumental in establishing a strong partnership with the Department of Education," Donald "Del" Laverdure, Acting Assistant Secretary-Indian Affairs said. "Throughout his tenure he worked hard to give BIE students the opportunity to pursue their dreams and the ability to achieve them."
In addition, the BIE operates two postsecondary institutions, Haskell Indian Nations University and Southwestern Indian Polytechnic Institute and provides funds for 26 tribal colleges and universities and two tribal technical colleges. Federal funding for the education of American Indian students comes from both the Department of the Interior and the Department of Education.
Prior to becoming the BIE director, Moore, who is an enrolled member of the Rosebud Sioux Tribe of South Dakota, had served since August 2009 as the Chief Diversity Officer at the University of South Dakota. Before that, Moore served as Indian Education Director for the South Dakota State Department of Education.
Moore graduated in 1990 from Northern State University in Aberdeen with a B.S. degree in Health and Physical Education/Social Sciences. He received a M.A. degree in Educational Administration from South Dakota State University - Brookings in 2002 and an Educational Specialist Degree in Educational Leadership from Montana State University in 2009.