Day One – Keynote Speaker  – Kevin Washburn


Kevin K.Washburn

Kevin K.Washburn

Biographical Statement of Kevin K. Washburn
Assistant Secretary – Indian Affairs
U.S. Department of the Interior

Kevin K. Washburn, an enrolled member of the Chickasaw Nation in Oklahoma, was confirmed by the United States Senate as the Assistant Secretary – Indian Affairs for the U.S. Department of the Interior on September 21, 2012, and was sworn into office by Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar on October 9, 2012.

Mr. Washburn is the 12th Assistant Secretary – Indian Affairs to be confirmed since the position was established by Congress in the late 1970s. In addition to carrying out the Department’s trust responsibilities regarding the management of tribal and individual Indian trust lands and assets, the Assistant Secretary is responsible for promoting the self-determination and economic self-sufficiency of the nation’s 566 federally recognized American Indian and Alaska Native tribes and their approximately two million enrolled members.

Mr. Washburn came to the Department of the Interior from the University of New Mexico School of Law where he served as Dean, a post he held since June 2009. Prior to that, he served as the Rosentiel Distinguished Professor of Law at the University of Arizona James E. Rogers College of Law from 2008 to 2009, and as an Associate Professor of Law at the University of Minnesota Law School from 2002 to 2008. From 2007 to 2008, Mr. Washburn was the Oneida Indian Nation Visiting Professor at Harvard Law School.

Previously, he served as General Counsel for the National Indian Gaming Commission from 2000 to 2002, and as an Assistant United States Attorney in Albuquerque, N.M., from 1997 to 2000. He was a trial attorney in the Indian Resource Section of the U.S. Department of Justice from 1994 to 1997. From 1993 to 1994, he clerked for the Hon. William C. Canby, Jr., of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit in Phoenix. His past awards in federal service include the Environmental Protection Agency’s Bronze Medal for Commendable Service (2000) for representing the agency in successful Clean Air Act litigation and Special Commendations for Outstanding Service from the Justice Department (1997, 1998).

Mr. Washburn is a well-known scholar of federal Indian law. Among his other books and articles, he is a co-author and editor of the leading legal treatise in the field of Indian law, Cohen’s Handbook of Federal Indian Law (2012 edition).

Mr. Washburn was raised in Oklahoma and earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics with Honors from the University of Oklahoma (1989). He also received a Juris Doctorate from Yale Law School (1993), where he was the editor-in-chief of the Yale Journal on Regulation. He has been a member of the American Law Institute since 2007, and is a member of the State Bars of Minnesota and New Mexico.

Mr. Washburn is married with two children.


Office of Public Affairs – Indian Affairs
U. S. Department of the Interior
1849 C Street, N.W., MS-3658-MIB
Washington, D.C. 20240
Phone: 202-208-3710/Fax: 202-501-1516


Day Two – Keynote Speaker – Diane Enos


Diane Enos
President, Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community

B.F.A., Arizona State University (cum laude) J.D., Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law, Arizona State University

Diane Enos is the 23rd President of the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community and the second woman elected to this office, sworn into office in December 2006.  She is the daughter of Naomi and Johnson Enos, and the great granddaughter of Jose Anton, one of the leaders for the Pima communities at the time of the Indian Reorganization Act.  As a trailblazer for the community, President Enos became the first member of the Salt River Indian Community to become a lawyer.  As a Senior Trial Attorney, Enos practiced in the Maricopa County Public Defender’s Office for 11 years.

Enos has spent her entire professional life in community service, is dedicated to promoting education for the Salt River Pima-Maricopa people and in creating new opportunities for traditional O’odham (Pima) and Piipaash (Maricopa) life to flourish within the Community.

Prior to being elected President, Enos served on the Council for the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community for sixteen years serving four terms.  She was first elected to Council while a second-year law student at Arizona State University.  She became interested in law and politics while working as a news reporter, covering the proposed Pima Freeway for the “Scottsdale Progress” newspaper.  Enos graduated the Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law in 1992, becoming a member of the Arizona State Bar the same year.  She had graduated cum laude with a bachelor’s degree in Fine Arts from ASU and planned to pursue a career as an artist.  Five of her paintings hang in the Sacaton hospital on the Gila River Indian Community, and in New York and Maine.

Currently, in her position as President, Enos also serves as the Chair of the Maricopa County Association of Governments Domestic Violence Committee, member of the Tribal Justice Advisory Group to the U.S. Department of Justice Tribal Justice Programs, is a member of the Executive Committee for the Intertribal Council of Arizona, and Secretary for the Executive Committee of the Arizona Indian Gaming Association.


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