Acting Regional Director, Navajo Region

Deborah Shirley serves as the acting regional director for the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) Navajo Region. Previously, she held the position of deputy regional director - Trust Services for the BIA Western Region in Gallup, New Mexico. Her experience encompasses various roles within the Bureau of Trust Funds Administration (formerly OST), including fiduciary trust officer, deputy trust administrator, and executive officer. Additionally, she collaborated with the Office of Historical Trust Accounting, working alongside the Department of the Interior and Department of Justice to resolve Indian trust litigation cases during the Obama Administration.

With over 23 years of federal service in the BIA Navajo Region and a decade of engagement with the Navajo Nation, Shirley received one of four prestigious fellowship awards in Indian Country. This opportunity allowed her to serve as a graduate intern under Governor Mecham with the State of Arizona. She also served as a juvenile facility administrator for a local grassroots non-profit organization in the western part of the Navajo Nation, collaborating with tribal governments and leadership to tackle challenges in Indian Country.

Shirley pursued her education at Dine College (formerly Navajo Community College), earning her associate degree in elementary education, business, and liberal arts. She furthered her education at the University of New Mexico, where she obtained her bachelor's degree in Business Administration with an emphasis in finance, and at Phoenix College, where she earned her master's in Business Administration.

A member of the Navajo Nation, Shirley identifies with the Naatsiilid Kinlichinii (Red House) clan and was born into the Naaneshtezhi Taachiinii (Zuni Red Running into Water) clan. Her maternal grandfather also belongs to the Naaneshtezhi Taachiinii (Zuni Red Running into Water) clan, while her paternal grandfathers are Maiideshgeezhnii (Coyote Pass). Originally from Wide Ruins, Arizona, she spent most of her life in Tuba City, Arizona.


Deborah Shirley

Contact Us

Navajo Region
301 West Hill Street
Gallup , NM 87301
Open 8:30 a.m.–4:30 p.m., Monday–Friday.
(505) 863-8314