Kevin Washburn announces departure from Bureau of Indian Affairs post
Assistant Secretary Kevin Washburn will leave the Bureau of Indian Affairs in January after more than three years of service in the Obama administration.
Washburn, a citizen of the Chickasaw Nation, joined the BIA in September 2012. He quickly won praise for his defense of the Indian Child Welfare Act, his push to approve more land-into-trust applications and his handling of controversial issues like the federal recognition process in the face of pressure from Republican lawmakers and non-Indian groups.
“Kevin is a tireless change agent for Indian Country and true partner in our efforts to chart a brighter future for tribal communities through self-determination and self-governance,” Interior Secretary Sally Jewell said in a press release. “He is a thoughtful leader who provided a steady hand to modernize Indian Affairs to better serve tribes, which will be felt by generations to come in tribal communities across the country. It has been an honor to call him a colleague and friend, and I thank him for his selfless service.”