The Interior Department named Raina Thiele as the department’s top official on Alaska issues.
Thiele was President Barack Obama’s lead Tribal liaison and helped organize his landmark trip to Alaska in 2015.
Thiele will be the first Alaska Native person to hold the position. She is Dena’ina and Yup’ik.
Thiele, 38, grew up in several Alaska communities, urban and rural: Big Lake, Homer, Pedro Bay and Alexander Creek, where her father is from. She’s a member of the Pedro Bay Tribe.