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New Director of Navajo Nation’s Washington Office

New Director of Navajo Nation’s Washington Office
May 04
08:07 2022

By John Christian Hopkins

Lashawna R. Tso has been appointed executive director for the Navajo Nation’s Washington office.

“We are proud to welcome one of our young Diné professionals back to the Navajo Nation to serve our people. With her extensive background and experience, we are confident that she will advocate for our people and strengthen our Nation’s relations at the federal level,” Navajo Nation President Jonathan Nez said.

Tso grew up on the Navajo Nation, achieved a higher education and now is “returning home to help our people once again,” Nez added.

Tso is a member of the Navajo Nation and originally from Smoke Signal, Ariz. She is Tódik’ǫzhi (Salt Water) and born for Mą’ii deeshgiizhinii (Coyote Pass). Her maternal grandfather is Áshįįhi (Salt People) and her paternal grandfather is Chíshí (Chiricahua Apache).

Prior to her appointment, Tso served as the New Mexico Assistant Secretary of Indian Education, and the Chief of Staff for the Office of the Speaker under the Navajo Nation Legislative Branch. She was also a Legislative Staff Assistant for the Navajo Nation for four years prior.

Tso replaces former Executive Director Santee Lewis, who recently began a new role working with tribal nations with the Bureau of Indian Affairs.

Nez and Vice President Myron Lizer thanked Lewis for her service to the Navajo Nation and wished her well in her new position.

“We greatly appreciate Ms. Lewis’ tremendous service for the Navajo Nation. She worked with many partners on many issues and she played a critical role in securing federal COVID-19 relief funding for the Navajo people by working with various departments and programs to gather and submit data to the U.S. Treasury,” Lizer said. “We look forward to working together with and supporting Ms. Tso.”

Tso has a Bachelor of Science in Speech and Hearing Science from Arizona State University and a Master of Public Administration degree from Grand Canyon University with an emphasis in Government and Policy.

“I am deeply honored to serve our people in Washington, D.C. It could not have come at a better time – under the Biden-Harris Administration, we have an opportunity to engage with our federal partners, and members of congress in a meaningful way,” Tso explained.

The Washington Office will continue to work hard to ensure the investments made by Congress will benefit our people and communities across Navajo, she said.

“I am ready to get to work,” Tso added.

She will officially begin serving as the new Executive Director on May 16.

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