Tribal Economic Development Expert Gavin Clarkson Tapped for BIA Post

Jun 19, 2017News

Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma citizen and Associate Professor of Business at New Mexico State University Gavin Clarkson was recently hired to serve as the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Policy and Economic Development at the U.S. Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA). His position oversees the Office of Indian Energy and Economic Development, the Office of Indian Gaming, and the Office of Self-Governance. Clarkson’s arrival to the nation’s capital comes at a time of considerable reorganization at the BIA’s Department of the Interior under the leadership of Secretary Ryan Zinke. Secretary Zinke, at the National Tribal Energy Summit last month, proposed changes to how tribes might exercise sovereignty and promote economic development.


Clarkson joins the BIA from a successful stint in academics and economic development. He possesses a PhD in Technology and Operations Management and a law degree, both from Harvard University. He has held teaching positions at the University of Houston Law Center, University of Michigan, and now New Mexico State University. Clarkson has published numerous articles on tribal sovereignty and reservation economic development, including a recent note on tribal lending in the Vanderbilt Law Review.

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