WINDOW ROCK, AZ – The Navajo Nation announced the appointment of Lashawna R. Tso to serve as the new Executive Director for the Navajo Nation Washington Office. Tso is a member of the Navajo Nation and originally from Smoke Signal, AZ. She is Tódik’ǫzhi (Salt Water) and born for Mą’ii deeshgiizhinii (Coyote Pass).
Prior to her appointment, Tso served as the New Mexico Assistant Secretary of Indian Education, and the Chief of Staff for the Office of the Speaker under the Navajo Nation Legislative Branch. She was also a Legislative Staff Assistant for the Navajo Nation for four years prior.
“We are proud to welcome one of our young Diné professionals back to the Navajo Nation to serve our people,” said President Nez. “With her extensive background and experience, we are confident that she will advocate for our people and strengthen our Nation’s relations at the federal level. She grew up on the Navajo Nation, achieved a higher education, and now she is returning home to help our people once again.”
Tso replaces former Executive Director Santee Lewis, who recently began a new role working with tribal nations with the Bureau of Indian Affairs. President Nez and Vice President Lizer thank Lewis for her service to the Navajo Nation and wish her well in her new position.
“We greatly appreciate Ms. Lewis’ tremendous service for the Navajo Nation,” said Vice President Lizer. “She worked with many partners on many issues and she played a critical role in securing federal COVID-19 relief funding for the Navajo people by working with various departments and programs to gather and submit data to the U.S. Treasury. We wish her and her family the very best. We look forward to working together with and supporting Ms. Tso.”
“I am deeply honored to serve our people in Washington, D.C.,” said Tso. “It could not have come at a better time. Under the Biden-Harris Administration, we have an opportunity to engage with our federal partners, and members of congress in a meaningful way. The Washington Office will continue to work hard to ensure the investments made by Congress will benefit our people and communities across Navajo. I am ready to get to work.”
Tso will officially begin serving as the new Executive Director on May 16.