After six years of service in the White House, Jodi Gillette (BF’02) resigned from her position as President Barack Obama’s special assistant for Native American affairs to pursue a new opportunity. In May 2015 she accepted a position as policy advisor at Sonosky, Chambers, Sachse, Endreson & Perry, LLP, a Washington D.C. law firm devoted to representing Native American interests.
A member of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, Gillette provided apt representation for Native communities during her White House tenure. Her work with the Obama administration began in 2009 when she served as an associate director of intergovernmental affairs. One year later, she transitioned into the role of deputy assistant secretary for Indian Affairs at the U.S. Department of the Interior, and in 2012, she became Obama’s special assistant for Native American Affairs.
Gillette was an integral part of the administration’s focus on Indian Country. In addition to providing insight and advice on behalf of Native communities, Gillette helped develop the annual White House Tribal Conference. Additionally, she played a role in the Violence Against Women Act reauthorization in 2013, providing more support to tribal police, prosecutors and courts.