(Photo: Office of the President and Vice President)

At long last, President Russell Begaye and Vice President Jonathan Nez appointed a director for the Division of Economic Development. On March 7, they announced that Crystal J. Deschinny of the Forest County Potawatomi tribe will lead the department. She will also be the first woman to hold the position.

In a press release, Begaye said Deschinny “has a solid background in finance and investment management, and has managed capital infrastructure project development for various tribal governments.”

As director of the department, Deschinny will be responsible for helping the Navajo Nation to develop its economic environment and create jobs on the reservation.

Deschinny has an MBA and an MA in American Indian Studies Tribal Policy and Law from the University of Arizona, in addition to a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration and Finance from San Diego State University. She previously worked as a financial investment manager for the Forest County Potawatomi tribe in Wisconsin for seven years and is currently the chief executive officer of the Tolowa Dee-Nation in California.

Deshinny will begin work on March 21.