WASHINGTON — The Department of the Interior announced Wednesday that Robert Anderson (Bois Forte Band of the Minnesota Chippewa Tribe) has been formally nominated as Solicitor of the Interior Department. He has served as Interior’s Principal Deputy Solicitor since Jan. 20, 2021.

Anderson’s nomination has been transmitted by the White House to the United States Senate, the Interior Department said in a statement. 

Anderson worked as a law professor at the University of Washington for 20 years and also directed its Native American Law Center. He has been the Oneida Indian Nation Visiting Professor of Law at Harvard Law School for the past 12 years. Anderson is a co-author and editor of the leading federal Indian Law treatise, “Cohen’s Handbook of Federal Indian Law,” and a co-author of a leading textbook on American Indian Law. Anderson has also published many articles in the fields of natural resources law, water law, and American Indian law.

“Bob [Anderson] has extensive legal expertise with regard to Native American Tribes, public lands, and water – all of which will help advance Interior’s mission to steward America's natural, cultural and historic resources and honor our nation-to-nation relationship with Tribes in accordance with the spirit and letter of the law. He is a thoughtful and trusted senior member of our team at Interior, with my deep confidence, and I look forward to his confirmation process,” said Interior Secretary Deb Haaland.  

Anderson served as the Associate Solicitor for Indian Affairs and Counselor to the Secretary under Interior Secretary Bruce Babbitt during the Clinton administration. He began his career as a staff attorney for the Native American Rights Fund, where he practiced law for 12 years. He also served on the transition agency review teams for President-elect Obama and President-elect Biden.

Raised in the small town of Ely in northeastern Minnesota, Anderson received his law degree from the University of Minnesota.

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