New Navajo Nation Washington Office Director
By John Christian Hopkins
Lashawna R. Tso has been appointed executive director of 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 champion the interests of our people and strengthen relationships. of our nation at the federal level,” said Navajo Nation President Jonathan Nez.
Tso grew up in the Navajo Nation, went to college and is now “back home to help our people again,” Nez added.
Tso is a member of the Navajo Nation and originally from Smoke Signal, Arizona. She is Tódik’ǫzhi (salt water) and born for Mą’ii deeshgiizhinii (Coyote Pass). His maternal grandfather is Áshįįhi (Salt People) and his paternal grandfather is Chíshí (Chiricahua Apache).
Prior to his appointment, Tso served as Assistant Secretary of Indian Education for New Mexico and Chief of Staff in the Office of the Speaker of the Legislative Branch of the Navajo Nation. She also served as Legislative Staff Assistant for the Navajo Nation for four years prior.
Tso replaces former executive director Santee Lewis, who recently started a new role working with tribal nations with the Bureau of Indian Affairs.
Nez and Vice President Myron Lizer thanked Lewis for his service to the Navajo Nation and wished him well in his new position.
“We greatly appreciate Ms. Lewis’ tremendous service to the Navajo Nation. She has worked with many partners on many issues and she has been instrumental in securing federal COVID-19 relief funding for the Navajo people by working with various departments and programs to collect and submit data to the US Treasury,” Lizer said. “We look forward to working with and supporting Ms. Tso.”
Tso holds a Bachelor of Science in Speech and Hearing Science from Arizona State University and a Masters in Public Administration from Grand Canyon University with a major in government and politics.
“I am deeply honored to serve our people in Washington, D.C. This could not have come at a better time – under the Biden-Harris administration, we have the opportunity to engage with our federal partners and members of Congress significantly,” Tso explained.
The Washington office will continue to work hard to ensure that the investments made by Congress will benefit our people and our communities across Navajo, she said.
“I’m ready to get to work,” Tso added.
She will officially take office as the new chief executive on May 16.