President Donald Trump has announced his intent to name Alaskan Tara Sweeney as the head of the Bureau of Indian Affairs, a division of the Department of Interior.
Sweeney is the executive vice president of external affairs for Arctic Slope Regional Corporation (ASRC), the largest locally owned and operated business in Alaska, owned by approximately 13,000 Iñupiat Eskimo members and 12,000 employees worldwide.
She grew up in rural Alaska and has spent a lifetime advocating for responsible Indian energy policy, rural connectivity, Arctic growth, and Native American self-determination, according to her bio.
Sweeney served as chair of the Arctic Economic Council from 2015-2017. In 2013, Ms. Sweeney served as the co-chair of the Alaska Federation of Natives, and 2003, Ms. Sweeney served as special assistant for rural affairs and education in Governor Frank Murkowski’s administration. Honored in 2008 as a “Top Forty Under 40″ business leader, Sweeney was also inducted into the Anchorage ATHENA Society in 2017. She is a graduate of Cornell University.
Sweeney is tribal member of the Native Village of Barrow and the Iñupiat Community of the Arctic Slope. She and her family live in Anchorage.
Sen. Dan Sullivan is known to have worked hard for Sweeney’s appointment; she was co-chair of Sullivan’s campaign in 2014. Sweeney’s husband, Kevin, is a long-time political figure who most recently served on the staff of Sen. Lisa Murkowski.