Anderson nominated for BIA head position

WASHINGTON - President George W. Bush announced Sept. 12, his intention to nominate Dave Anderson, an enrolled member of the Lac Courte Oreilles Lake Superior Band of Ojibwa, for the position of Assistant Secretary of the Interior for Indian Affairs. The nomination will still need confirmation approval from the U.S. Senate.

Stated Gale Norton, Secretary of the Interior, in a release from the Interior, Anderson, founder and chairman of Famous Dave's of America, Inc., a growing chain of family restaurants, is a positive choice for Indian country. "David Anderson's innovative leadership and dedication to constant improvement will serve him well ? his inspiring vision, proven management expertise and compassion for Indian issues will help us in our efforts to improve the quality of services we provide." Norton added.

In addition to his entrepreneurial endeavors, Anderson has also been actively involved in several programs dedicated to the Indian community including the creation of LifeSkills Center for Leadership. This program was originally designed to reach out to at-risk Native youth but has expanded to teach adults leadership skills as well. In a recent interview with Indian Country Today, (Vol. 23, Iss. 4) Anderson spoke of his personal "keys to success." He said, "You have to know your strengths and weaknesses, and you have to be willing to know what you can and can't do."

Anderson, who received his master's degree in Public Administration from Harvard University's John F. Kennedy School of Government in 1986, lives in Edina, Minn. with his wife.

In a released statement, Anderson expressed his gratitude and excitement for his nomination. "I am deeply honored at the prospect of being nominated," he said. "I welcome the opportunity to work closely with the American Indians and Alaska Native tribal governments, as well as the BIA."

Neal McCaleb, the former Assistant Secretary resigned in November 2002 after a 17-month term laden with controversy over trust fund issues. Aurene Martin had been serving as acting assistant secretary. As Assistant Secretary, Anderson would have the "responsibility for fulfilling the Department's trust responsibilities and promoting self-determination" for all the federally recognized tribal governments. He would also manage the BIA and its employees and be responsible for providing services to individual American Indians across the country.