Published December 29, 2017
WASHINGTON – On Thursday, Acting Assistant Secretary – Indian Affairs John Tahsuda announced the appointment of Charles Addington as deputy bureau director for the Bureau of Indian Affairs’ (BIA) Office of Justice Services (OJS). The appointment by BIA Director Bryan Rice became effective on December 24, 2017. Addington, a member of the Cherokee Nation, had been serving as OJS’s acting deputy bureau director since October 2, 2017.
Addington has over 25 years of law enforcement experience, 20 of which are in the management of Indian Country law enforcement programs.
“I’m pleased that Charles Addington has agreed to lead the BIA’s Office of Justice Services,” said acting Assistant Secretary Tahsuda. “I have every confidence in his abilities, and that with his knowledge and years of experience working to improve public safety in Indian Country, he’ll bring a new vision to addressing the levels of crime that threaten too many tribal communities.”
“I want to welcome Charles Addington to my BIA leadership team as the Office of Justice Services’ new deputy bureau director,” said BIA Director Rice. “I’m glad to have the chance to work closely with him and acting Assistant Secretary Tahsuda to find real solutions to Indian Country’s crime issues.”
“I deeply appreciate acting Assistant Secretary Tahsuda and Director Rice for providing me this tremendous leadership opportunity,” Addington said. “I’m looking forward to working closely with tribal leaders, tribal law enforcement, and our federal, state and local partners on finding better ways of fighting violent crime and strengthening public safety throughout Indian Country.”
Prior to becoming the acting deputy bureau director, Addington had been serving since November 2013 as the deputy associate director for OJS’s drug enforcement division, where he led the BIA’s National Drug Enforcement program, which is responsible for complex drug, gang, border, and human trafficking investigations affecting Indian Country.
Before accepting the deputy associate director position, Addington had served as the associate director of field operations at OJS’s headquarters in Washington, D.C., from May 2010 to November 2013. In that capacity, he oversaw numerous national programs including federal law enforcement, corrections, drug enforcement, and Indian Highway Safety programs.
Given his extensive knowledge of the Indian Country law enforcement field, Addington has served on several of the Interior Department’s high level initiatives to improve public safety in tribal communities, including the Safe Indian Communities Presidential High Priority Goal (HPPG) and the comprehensive Protecting Indian Country projects.
In 2013, Addington was among 31 finalists, and the only Interior Department employee, for that year’s Samuel J. Heyman Service to America Medals. The finalists were cited for having shown a strong commitment to public service and for having made significant contributions that are innovative, high-impact and critical for the nation. Addington was recognized for developing and implementing an innovative law enforcement program that had reduced the high violent crime rate on four Indian reservations by 35 percent, which served as a model for addressing the issue in other Native American communities.
As a senior manager in OJS, Addington also has served as an instructor for numerous training programs related to Indian Country law enforcement.
He is a graduate of the FBI National Academy, which he completed in 2012.