New acting director named for Navajo Nation Veterans Administration

Noel Lyn Smith
Farmington Daily Times
Navajo Nation

FARMINGTON — A Marine Corps veteran has started service as the acting director for the Navajo Nation Veterans Administration.

James D. Zwierlein was appointed on July 1 by Navajo Nation President Jonathan Nez and Vice President Myron Lizer to lead the tribe's veterans administration, according to a press release from the president's office.

"I am looking forward to working with the Navajo Veterans Administration to make a positive impact on the lives of Navajo veterans," Zwierlein said in a statement to The Daily Times.

Zwierlein's appointment follows the June 28 resignation of John I. King.

King offered his resignation last week, citing the need to spend more time with family, the release states.

Nez made the announcement about the change in personnel during an update to the Navajo Nation Council's Health, Education and Human Services Committee on July 1.

"With Mr. Zwierlein's military background and knowledge of issues that impact Navajo veterans, we are confident that he will work with federal and state agencies and Navajo veterans' organizations to help our veterans on the Navajo Nation," Nez said.

Zwierlein was given an honorable discharge in 2011 after serving about 15 years with the Marine Corps, according to the release.

Information released by the president's office states Zwierlein served as a liaison to members of the U.S. Intelligence Oversight Committee, as an operations chief with the 11th Marine Regiment and as a project manager at Camp Las Pulgas, a unit location at Camp Pendleton in California.

After his military service, he worked as the operations manager for the residential construction company, Z Construction LLC.

He has been working as an executive staff assistant for the president's office since March 27. Among his responsibilities there was housing issues, including those faced by veterans.

Noel Lyn Smith covers the Navajo Nation for The Daily Times. She can be reached at 505-564-4636 or by email at