The Department of Defense has announced that David Sanborn, an enrolled member of the Penobscot Nation, will be the department’s new senior tribal liaison.
The DoD senior tribal liaison has primary responsibility for providing guidance and oversight for the Department’s American indian & Alaskan native policy. In addition to providing advice and direction on cultural and natural resource issues, the senior tribal liaison also manages the department’s Native American Lands Environmental Mitigation Program (NALEMP), a program that provides at least $10 million per year to clean up formerly used DoD sites affecting tribal lands. The senior tribal liaison also has oversight for related DoD native American programs, policy and outreach, the latter to ensure tribal governments are aware of DoD activities that may be of interest to them.
“I welcome the opportunity to represent the DoD in its many interactions with American indian and Alaska native communities,” said Sanborn. “Since the establishment of its American indian and Alaska native policy in 1998, the department has aggressively sought to meet its responsibilities to tribal nations and foster stable and enduring government-to-government relations.”
Sanborn worked previously in the Public Programs Department at the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of the American Indian (NMAI), where he managed numerous special initiatives, including the National Native Languages Archive Repository Project and the Seminars and Symposia Program. He earned his bachelor’s degree in biology from the University of Massachusetts in 1997.