Standing Rock Tribal Citizen, Jodi Gillette, Leaving the White House to Join DC Law Firm

Jodi Gillettee

Jodi Gillette

Breaking News

WASHINGTON— Jodi Gillette (Standing Rock Sioux), who currently serves as the Special Assitant to President Obama for Native American Affairs, is leaving her post at the White House.

In a news release distributed this morning (Thursday, May 14, 2015), it was announced Gillette is joining the law firm of Sonosky, Chambers, Sachse, Endreson & Perry, LLP. She is joining the firm as a policy advisor.

The White House has yet to make an official announcement, though the White House has confirmed to Native News Online, she is leaving her post there.

Ms. Gillette has served in several high-level capacities in the White House and Interior Department, most recently as Special Assistant to President Obama for Native American Affairs.

During her time at the White House, she helped to develop the policy priorities for American Indian issues within the White House Domestic Policy Council.  She regularly briefed the President on American Indian issues, and worked on budget priorities relating to the Bureau of Indian Affairs, the Indian Health Service and other programs across other departments and agencies affecting Tribes.

“I feel very fortunate to have had the opportunity to work within the Administration on issues I care about very deeply — issues that impact Indian country. I want to thank President Obama for that opportunity,” said Gillette.  “And now, I am pleased that I will be joining with Sonosky Chambers, a leading firm in representing tribes. I have known this firm for many years, and I have great respect for their integrity and the work that they do.  It will be a pleasure to join in their work for the benefit of Indian country.”

Gilette led the Administration’s strategy regarding major legislative initiatives, including the Native provisions of the Violence Against Women Act.  And, she was instrumental in developing the Generation Indigenous Initiative, aimed at improving the lives of Native Youth. Her work for the government covered key areas affecting Tribes nationwide, including self-determination and self-governance, Indian education, Indian employment development, housing, sacred places, climate change, energy, environmental protection, water rights, leasing and public safety.

“At both the White House and the Interior Department, Jodi demonstrated great dedication and skill in her work on critical Indian issues, helping to shape effective Indian policy within the Administration.  We are delighted that she is joining our firm, where she will be a tremendous asset to tribal governments across the country,” said Sonosky Chambers partner Mary Pavel.  Pavel, who formerly served as Staff Director and General Counsel for the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs, heads the firm’s government relations team.  Pavel added, “I have known Jodi since we attended Dartmouth College together, and it is a special pleasure for me to welcome her to our firm.”

Sonosky Chambers is a law firm devoted to representing Tribal interests across the United States.  The firm is based in Washington, DC, with additional offices in Alaska (Anchorage and Juneau), San Diego and Albuquerque.  Founded in 1976, the firm has a long and successful history representing Tribes and tribal organizations in litigation, on governmental relations, and in economic development matters, and it has an active appellate and Supreme Court practice. The firm’s work involves the broad range of issues affecting Tribes, including tribal sovereignty, self-governance, Treaty rights, health care, labor law, environmental law, child welfare matters, land acquisition, gaming, transportation and infrastructure development, and water rights.

Gillette will be working in the firm’s Washington, D.C. office.


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