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Small Business Administration appoints Native director

WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Small Business Administration announced May 29 that Clara Pratte has been appointed as national director of the agency’s Office of Native American Affairs.

“Clara’s background and experience will be an asset as we strengthen our efforts at the SBA to support the growth and development of small businesses and the economic opportunities they provide for Native Americans,” SBA Administrator Karen G. Mills said.

Pratte will assist American Indians, Native Alaskans and Native Hawaiians who want to create, develop and expand small businesses. One way she will do this, agency officials said, is by encouraging the use of the SBA’s entrepreneurial development, lending and procurement tools and programs.

Pratte, a member of the Navajo Nation, previously worked for the tribe as a policy analyst and legislative liaison focusing on economic and community development, housing and education issues.

Before that, she served with the U.S. Department of Commerce at the International Trade Administration as a trade specialist in the U.S. Foreign and Commercial Service. There she counseled small to medium U.S. companies on exporting issues.

After serving with the FCS, she joined the Office of the Chief Information Officer, where she oversaw information technology projects for the FCS and the Import Administration.

Pratte received a master’s degree in public policy from Carnegie Mellon University and a bachelor’s degree from the University of Arizona’s Eller School of Business.