Democrats on the House Natural Resources Committee
Chair Raúl M. Grijalva (D-Ariz.) on January 29 announced the promotion of Naomi Miguel to staff director of the Subcommittee for Indigenous Peoples of the United States (SCIP) and Ariana Romeo to professional staffer at the Subcommittee. Miguel had been a professional staffer and Romeo had been a policy aide.
Grijalva noted Miguel’s central role in directing SCIP’s policy work over the past two years, including her leadership in organizing oversight hearings on climate change impacts on tribal communities, combating the epidemic of missing and murdered indigenous women in Indian Country, elevating the voices of tribal communities put at risk by the Trump administration’s neglect of Native Americans during the coronavirus pandemic, ensuring tribal consultation in federal policymaking, and reviewing Bureau of Indian Education school reopening policies during the pandemic, among other issues.
At the end of the previous Congress, she led the production of a staff report entitled Repairing the Trump Administration’s Damage to U.S. Indigenous Communities and Charting a Better Way Forward.
In addition to her policy work and more than 10 years of professional experience, Miguel is a frequent speaker on federal and local issues facing Native Americans, and was recently a featured panelist at the 2020 Rural Assembly Everywhere event titled Rural Women Building Climate Resilience: Their challenges and successes. She received her undergraduate degree in Political Science from Mount St. Mary’s University in Los Angeles and her Master’s Degree in Public Administration and Policy from American University. Romeo received her undergraduate degree in History from Williams College.
“Naomi and Ariana are two of the best policy minds in Congress on Native American issues, and I’m proud to have them both on my staff,” Grijalva said today. “Whether the Committee is considering how to support tribes economically, protect sacred lands from exploitation, aid tribes in improving their health care quality, or restoring their rightful government-to-government relationship as sovereign nations with federal agencies, the entire committee trusts both Indigenous women’s analysis and leadership without hesitation. Tribes know they can trust them, their colleagues know they can rely on them, and we’re all looking forward to the continued benefits of their expertise in the new Congress.”
Chris Kaumo, who had been staff director of the subcommittee, will retain his role as deputy staff director of the full Committee.