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Washburn will leave Department of the Interior

The Daily Times staff
Kevin Washburn, the U.S. Interior Department's Assistant Secretary for Indian Affairs, speaks during a news conference in Albuquerque on Sept. 17.

FARMINGTON — Assistant Secretary for Indian Affairs Kevin Washburn will leave the U.S. Department of the Interior at the end of the month.

Interior Secretary Sally Jewell made the announcement in a press release last week.

The release states that during his service, Washburn advanced the Obama Administration’s commitment to tribal self-determination, including improving the federal acknowledgement process, updating right-of-way regulations and improving the land-into-trust process.

He also helped implement the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2013 and the Tribal Law and Order Act of 2010, the release states.

Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary Lawrence “Larry” Roberts will serve as acting Assistant Secretary for Indian Affairs after Washburn’s departure in January.

Roberts is a member of the Oneida Nation of Wisconsin and previously served as general counsel of the National Indian Gaming Commission.

Washburn, who was confirmed by the U.S. Senate in September 2012 and is an enrolled member of the Chickasaw Nation in Oklahoma, will rejoin the faculty at the University of New Mexico’s School of Law in Albuquerque.