Navajo Nation Council confirms Valinda Shirley to head tribe's EPA

Noel Lyn Smith
Farmington Daily Times
Valinda Shirley

GALLUP — The Navajo Nation Council confirmed Valinda Shirley to lead the tribe's Environmental Protection Agency.

Shirley was appointed by tribal President Jonathan Nez and Vice President Myron Lizer in January after the resignation of Oliver Whaley, who left in December to spend more time with family.

The tribal council approved Shirley as the agency's executive director on Feb. 12.

"I look forward to working with the Office of the President and Vice President, the council and our communities to address environmental issues," she said in a press release from the president's office.

The Nez-Lizer administration announced the appointment of Tom Platero to head the Division of General Services.

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Tom Platero

Platero is replacing Lomardo Aseret, who resigned earlier in the month over health concerns, according to the Feb. 22 press release from the president's office.

Platero served as the executive director of the Office of Legislative Services under the legislative branch from 2012 to 2020 and as director of the Division of Transportation from 2004 to 2011.

"We are excited to have Mr. Platero on board with our administration. I am certain that his well-rounded background and experience will lead to new initiatives and tangible improvements under his leadership," Lizer said in the release.

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

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