Obama Appoints Two Natives to Key Administration Posts

Tarajean Yazzie-Mintz and Annette Evans Smith are among appointees by President Barack Obama to key administration posts.
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Earlier this month, President Barack Obama announced his intent to appoint a number of individuals to key administration posts, including two Native American education professionals.

Tarajean Yazzie-Mintz, Navajo, co-director of the Office of Research and Sponsored Programs and Senior Program Office of Tribal Colleges and Universities Early Childhood Education Initiatives at the American Indian College Fund, is an appointee to the Board of Directors of the National Board for Education Services. Prior to her current position she served as program officer of the College Fund’s Wakanyeja “Sacred Little Ones,” Ké’ Family Engagement, and Cultivating Lakota Early Childhood Education Initiatives. She has worked with tribal colleges and universities and with early learning centers serving Native children, developing curriculum and strengthening early learning programs. She was an assistant professor at Indiana University, Bloomington from 2005 to 2011.

“I am humbled and honored to have been chosen to serve on the Board of Directors of the National Board for Education Sciences in its role of advising the Director of the Institute of Education Statistics,” Yazzie-Mintz said of her appointment by Obama. “I look forward to working with the dedicated and highly regarded education professionals on this board to serve my country, while sharing my knowledge and experience gained through working with Native communities, families, teachers, and children.”

Annette Evans Smith, Athabascan/Alutiiq/Yup’ik, is the president and CEO of the Alaska Native Heritage Center, and is an appointee to the National Museum and Library Services Board. She joined ANHC in 2003, and has served as president and CEO since 2011. In 2012, she worked on legislation that established the Alaska Native Language Preservation and Advisory Council. Her memberships include the Foraker Group Operations Board, the Alaska Native Advisory Panel for the Alaska State Council on the Arts, and the University of Alaska Anchorage’s College of Business and Public Policy’s Alaska Native Organizational Management Advisory Committee.

Obama appoints two Natives to education boards

Annette Evans Smith (left), president and CEO of the Alaska Native Heritage Center, is an appointee to the National Museum and Library Services Board.

Evans Smith is chair of the Governor-appointed Alaska Native Language Preservation and Advisory Council. In 2009, she was recognized by the Governor of Alaska for Distinguished Service to the Humanities.

“These fine public servants bring a depth of experience and tremendous dedication to their important roles,” President Obama said. “I know they will serve the American people well.”

See the full list of appointments by President Barack Obama here.