Every government entity has people on their staff to handle its relations. For the Seneca Nation of Indians that person is James J. Snyder.
Snyder, a county legislature chairman for 13 years, was named special assistant to the president for local government relations today. In his new role, Snyder will be helping with foreign relations, homeland security and justice committees.
Snyder’s been active in statewide politics and because of his serving two years on the Olean Common Council, and 31 years on the Cattaraugus County Legislature, he will not be representing the Nation on matters in that county.
“Jim Snyder is one of the most effective, experienced, knowledgeable and well-liked government experts in New York and the Nation is pleased to be the beneficiary of that experience and achievement,” said Nation President Robert Odawi Porter. “He and his relationships bring a mediator’s expertise to many of the Nation’s dealings with governments outside its territories.”
Snyder, born and raised in Olean, graduated with a B.A. degree from Syracuse University and a M.S. degree from St. Bonaventure. He recently retired as regional vice president of AAA of Western & Central New York, was president of the National Association of Counties, in Washington, DC, and president of the New York State Association of Counties, in Albany, N.Y.
“I am looking forward to helping my dear friends and colleagues in the Seneca Nation of Indians work effectively with the many governments and leaders whose policies affect the Nation, and are in turn affected by the Nation’s policies,” Snyder said. “We all want the same things; we share so many of the same goals, for our economy, for our children, for our homes. I want to see us all thrive together.”
Snyder lived in Washington, D.C., from 199-1-1993, where he served as a Special Assistant to President George H.W. Bush. While he was chairman of the Cattaraugus County Legislature, he was adopted into the Seneca Nation of Indians as a member of the Hawk Clan.
He is married to Paula J. Snyder, father of four children, two stepchildren and seven grandchildren. Snyder is no relation to former Seneca Nation President Barry Snyder.