Hoeven Holds Nomination Hearing for Assistant Secretary for Indian Affairs

May 9, 2018

WASHINGTON – Senator John Hoeven (R-ND), chairman of the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs, today convened a hearing on the nomination of Tara Mac Lean Sweeney to serve as assistant secretary for Indian Affairs at the Department of the Interior.

For hearing video and more information on Ms. Sweeney’s testimony click here.

Senator Hoeven’s remarks:

“Today the committee will hear from Ms. Tara Mac Lean Sweeney, of Alaska, who has been nominated to be the Assistant Secretary for Indian Affairs in the Department of the Interior. 

“The Assistant Secretary for Indian Affairs leads the Interior’s initiatives across Indian Country, and on October 17, 2017, President Donald Trump nominated Ms. Sweeney to the position.

“Ms. Sweeney grew up in rural Alaska and is a member of the Native Village of Barrow and the Iñupiat Community of the Arctic Slope. If confirmed, she would be the first Alaska Native and second woman to hold the position.

“Actively engaged in state and national policy development, Ms. Sweeney has been involved in responsible Indian energy policy initiatives, rural broadband connectivity, Arctic growth, and Native American self-determination.

“She has served her Arctic Slope Regional Corporation and its subsidiaries in a variety of capacities for nearly two decades. The $2.6 billion corporation is the largest locally-owned and operated business in Alaska, with about 13,000 Iñupiat Eskimo members and 12,000 employees worldwide. It is diversified in six major business sectors, including energy support services, industrial services, construction, petroleum refining and marketing, government services, and resource development.

“In her current role as the Executive Vice President of External Affairs, Ms. Sweeney is the official company spokesperson, responsible for all facets of government affairs and corporate communications. Her primary responsibilities include strategic policy and position development, implementation, and execution.

“She also manages federal and state engagement to improve policies affecting Indian energy, taxation, resource development, government contracting, broadband development and access to capital.

“Ms. Sweeney has served in leadership positions on numerous business and nonprofit boards at both the local and national level. She has served as chair of the Arctic Economic Council, co-chair of the Alaska Federation of Natives, a member of the Coast Guard Foundation Board of Trustees, and a member of the Cherokee Nation New Market Tax Credit Advisory Board.

“There have been several letters of support for Ms. Sweeney’s nomination and I have made them all part of the record. 

“I understand her tribal leaders are not able to join us today as they are busy in their whaling season, but they also send their support for Ms. Sweeney’s nomination.”

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