The U.S. Department of the Interior has named a Native American attorney as a top policy adviser to Secretary Deb Haaland.  

Lynn Trujillo, who directed New Mexico’s Indian Affairs Department, was announced as senior counselor to Haaland on Friday.  Haaland, a member of the Laguna Pueblo, is the first Native American to serve as a cabinet Secretary in the country's history. 

Trujillo, a member of Sandia Pueblo and also part Acoma and Taos Pueblos, worked for four years as a state cabinet Secretary in the administration of Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham. 

She played an important role as a liaison between the state and Native communities during the COVID-19 pandemic. Trujillo was also actively involved in issues affecting Indian Country, including funding for schools on Native trust lands, justice for missing and murdered Indigenous people and tribal economic development.  She left the Lujan administration in November 2022. 

Prior to her role with the state of New Mexico, Trujillo worked with Native American Tribes and organizations across the country as a national Native American coordinator for USDA Rural Development programs. 

Her past experiences include organizing in Tribal communities and practicing Indian Law in Washington D.C. and New Mexico. She holds a bachelor’s degree from Dartmouth College and a law degree from the University of New Mexico School of Law.

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