BIA Director Black Names Bryan Rice Deputy Bureau Director of Trust Services
WASHINGTON – Bureau of Indian Affairs Director Michael S. Black today announced that he has named Bryan Rice deputy bureau director of the BIA’s Office of Trust Services at the bureau’s headquarters in Washington, D.C. Rice, an enrolled member of the Cherokee Nation, had been serving as the OTS’s assistant director for resource protection since August 2009. His appointment became effective on October 23, 2011.
“I am pleased that Bryan has accepted this challenging opportunity to lead the BIA’s Office of Trust Services,” Black said. “His background of on-the-ground experience and managerial leadership that is proven and extensive, including his knowledge and experience in managing trust resources, makes Bryan Rice a strong addition to my team.”
“I am grateful to have been provided this leadership opportunity,” Rice said. “I am looking forward to working with Director Black and Assistant Secretary Echo Hawk in carrying out the BIA’s trust responsibility for tribal and individual Indian trust lands and resources.”
Rice began his career with the BIA in 2002 as a timber sale officer with the bureau’s Yakama Agency in White Swan, Wash., where he was responsible for timber sales, forest management and wildland fire suppression operations. In January 2004, he joined the U.S. Forest Service in Petersburg, Alaska, as a forester and assistant fire management officer. In addition to his forest management and wildland fire suppression responsibilities, he performed the duties of a forest protection officer and developed cooperative fire management agreements between the Forest Service and local tribal governments.
Rice remained with the Forest Service until July 2005, when he returned to the BIA as a forest management planning inventory forester with the bureau’s Alaska Regional Office in Juneau. As such, he oversaw various aspects of managing and protecting timber resources on Alaska Native allotments. He also chaired a panel in the national interagency 2009 quadrennial fire review.
From April to May 2008, Rice served as a program analyst with the Indian Affairs Office of Human Capital Management in D.C. where he worked with senior managers on a variety of personnel issues.
In August 2009, Rice was promoted to the post of assistant director for resource protection, where he advised the chief of the forestry division and the deputy bureau director for trust services on an array of trust areas including forestry, wildland fire management, geographic information systems, biomass, aviation, science and administration.
Prior to starting his career with the BIA, Rice served as a hotshot crew member with the U.S. Forest Service in Helena, Mont., from June 1995 to October 1997, and as a non-governmental organization (NGO) specialist with the Peace Corps in Sunsari District, Nepal, from September 1998 to February 2002.
Rice speaks fluent Nepali and is a licensed pilot. He holds an Associate’s degree in Business Administration from Illinois Central College in East Peoria (1992), a Bachelor’s degree in Forestry from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (1995) and a Master’s degree in Business Administration from the University of Alaska Southeast in Juneau (2007).
The deputy bureau director of trust services reports to the director of the Bureau of Indian Affairs and is responsible for all headquarters activities associated with the management and protection of federal Indian trust and restricted lands, real estate services and natural resources programs, including dam safety, irrigation and power systems, forestry and wildland fire management, land, title and records, and the probating of Indian trust estates.