BIA chooses non-Alaskan for regional director job in Alaska

Weldon "Bruce" Loudermilk, the new regional director for the Bureau of Indian Affairs in Alaska.

The Bureau of Indian Affairs has finally filled the regional director's post in Alaska.

Assistant Secretary Kevin Washburn announced the selection of Weldon “Bruce” Loudermilk for the post. Loudermilk is a member of the Fort Peck Assiniboine and Sioux Tribes from Montana who most recently served as regional director for the Great Plains.

“We recognize the importance of identifying and hiring the best candidates to serve tribes, the Alaska Native people and Alaska Native Corporations,” Washburn said in a press release. “Given that BIA regional directors are responsible for ensuring Indian Affairs carries out its mission within their regions, it is my firm belief that we should always be working to attract the best and brightest to these positions.”

Loudermilk emerged as a finalist for the job in February. At the time, Alaska Native questioned why the BIA didn't try to find a member of a tribe in the state to serve them.

"The process for selecting the Alaska Regional Director was exhaustive and Indian Affairs twice advertised the position. In an effort to expand the pool of eligible candidates, the second solicitation for applications was extended to five weeks," the BIA's press release stated.

Loudermilk previously worked in Alaska for two months with the National Park Service, according to a copy of his resume that was circulated among Alaska Native leaders earlier this year.

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