Sen. Maria Cantwell, a Washington Democrat who is taking over the chairmanship of the U.S. Senate Committee on Indian Affairs, today named a Washington native the committee’s staff director.
Mary J. Pavel, a member of the Skokomish Tribe, is a graduate of the University of Washington School of Law. She grew up and attended high school in Shelton. She is a partner in a Washington, D.C., firm specializing in tribal law and the founding president of the Native American Bar Association.
“Mary is well-known as one of the best and sharpest policy experts in Native American and Alaska Native policy and law,” Cantwell said in a statement. “Mary grew up in Washington state and understands the diverse issues facing Tribes in the Pacific Northwest and across the country. I look forward to working with Mary to improve economic opportunity, strengthen education and increase access to health care for all of Indian Country.”