by Naina Bhalla / The Dartmouth Senior Staff On Feb. 12, the Biden administration announced PaaWee Rivera ’13 as its pick for senior adviser to the White House Office of Intergovernmental Affairs and director of tribal affairs.
Rivera, of the Pueblo of Pojoaque, is the second Native American Dartmouth alumnus to serve as the primary liaison between the White House and the nation’s 574 federally recognized tribes, according to Native American studies professor Bruce Duthu. Jodi Archambault Gillette ’91 of the Standing Rock Sioux served in the role under the Obama administration.
In a Feb. 13 tweet, Rivera expressed his excitement, saying he will support President Joe Biden’s “commit[ment] to strengthening tribal sovereignty and advancing the Nation-to-Nation relationship.” Honored to serve in the Biden-Harris @WhiteHouse under the leadership of @JulieR2019 . @POTUS is committed to strengthening tribal sovereignty and advancing the Nation-to-Nation relationship. I look forward to doing my part to support that work. https://t.co/t6wCwuanIB — paawee rivera (@PaaWeeRivera) February 13, 2021 Rivera graduated from Dartmouth with a major in government and a minor in Native American studies. He then worked as a government relations adviser for the law firm Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton LLP before serving in various positions in the Democratic National Committee, including as Native American and rural engagement director. Rivera also worked on the presidential campaign of Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., and later on Biden’s campaign as its Western coalitions director.
Duthu, who had Rivera as a student, said Rivera “stood out” as an undergraduate for his interest […]