In 1989, after obtaining his Juris Doctorate degree from the Syracuse University School of Law, Mr. Jackson moved to Washington, DC where he worked for 12 years representing tribal governments and organizations. He began his advocacy career as a Legislative Associate and then was promoted to Deputy Director for the Navajo Nation Washington Office representing the concerns of his people before the federal government and various agencies. Mr. Jackson worked as the Legislative Analyst at the National Indian Education Association and was the Director of Governmental Affairs for the National Congress of American Indians.
From 2003 to 2005, Mr. Jackson served in the 46th Arizona State Legislature in the House of Representatives representing District 2. His greatest joy was working alongside his father, Senator Jack C. Jackson, Sr., who served at the Arizona State Legislature from 1985 to 2004.
He and Senator Jackson became the first father and son to serve together in the Arizona State Legislature. In 2010, Representative Jackson was elected to the 50th Arizona Legislature and served in the Senate, reclaiming his father’s former seat. From February 2010 to September 2013, Senator Jackson was appointed again to President Obama’s Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS where he previously served under the Clinton Administration.
As an Obama Administration official, Senator Jackson moved forward serving in the position of Senior Advisor and Liaison for Native American Affairs at the U.S. Department of State. Senator Jackson resides in Phoenix, Arizona, with his husband David.
Senator Jack Jackson, Jr.
Secretary Deb Haaland made history when she became the first Native American to serve as a cabinet secretary in the United States. She is a member of the Pueblo of Laguna and a fierce champion for our LGBTQIA+ community.
Secretary Haaland grew up in a military family; her father was a 30-year combat Marine who was awarded the Silver Star Medal for saving six lives in Vietnam, and her mother is a Navy veteran who served as a federal employee for 25 years at the Bureau of Indian Affairs. As a military child, she attended 13 public schools before graduating from Highland High School in Albuquerque.
As a single mother, Secretary Haaland volunteered at her child's pre-school to afford early childhood education. Like many parents, she had to rely on food stamps at times as a single parent, lived paycheck-to-paycheck, and struggled to put herself through college. At the age of 28, Haaland enrolled at the University of New Mexico (UNM) where she earned a Bachelor’s degree in English and later earned her J.D. from UNM Law School. Secretary Haaland and her child, who also graduated from the University of New Mexico, are still paying off student loans.
Secretary Haaland ran her own small business producing and canning Pueblo Salsa, served as a tribal administrator at San Felipe Pueblo, and became the first woman elected to the Laguna Development Corporation Board of Directors, overseeing business operations of the second largest tribal gaming enterprise in New Mexico. She successfully advocated for the Laguna Development Corporation to create policies and commitments to environmentally friendly business practices.
Throughout her career in public service, Secretary Haaland has broken barriers and opened the doors of opportunity for future generations. She is one of the first Native American women to serve in Congress and fiercely advocated for environmental justice, climate change, and our missing and murdered Indigenous women.