Jodi A. Gillette (Hunkpapa and Oglala Lakota) currently serves as a Policy Advisor for the Firm, after serving as a political appointee under the Administration of President Barack Obama from 2009-2015. During her tenure under the Administration, Jodi played an integral role in multiple capacities. Most recently, she served as the Special Assistant to the President for Native American Affairs in the White House Domestic Policy Council. Subsequent to this, she served as the Deputy Assistant Secretary to the Assistant-Secretary Indian Affairs in the U.S. Department of the Interior. Additionally, as the Associate Director of Intergovernmental Affairs at the White House, she implemented and institutionalized the President's interactions with the tribes and his Administration.
Prior to joining the Obama Administration, Ms. Gillette served as the executive director of the Native American Training Institute in Bismarck, a non-profit offering technical assistance and training to tribal, state and local governments in the area of human service delivery systems. In 2008, Obama for America hired Jodi to direct ND’s statewide First American vote efforts.
As the longest serving political appointee in the Administration, Jodi was quite influential in advising the President of the United States on policy to improve the lives of Native Americans and strengthen the nation-to-nation relationship between the United States and Indian Tribes. She was instrumental in advancing the protection of Native women and children against violence, ensuring tribes were treated as governments when faced with emergencies, and resolving long-standing legal disputes between tribes and the federal government.
Ms. Gillette holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Government and Native American Studies from Dartmouth College and a Master of Public Policy degree from the University of Minnesota’s Humphrey School of Public Affairs.
Dartmouth College, BA
University of Minnesota, M.P.P.