Executive Director

PoQueen Rivera, a proud Tribal member of the Pueblo of Pojoaque in New Mexico, has a decade of experience serving in various capacities in state and federal government, as well as the private and nonprofit sector before joining the White House Council on Native American Affairs (WHCNAA) on a detail as Executive Director for roughly 180 days.

Immediately prior to joining WHCNAA, she served as the first-ever Director of Tribal Affairs for the Federal Permitting Improvement Steering Council (Permitting Council) where she was responsible for building the agency’s Tribal program. Rivera brought in the first Tribal projects into the Permitting Council’s permitting assistance program FAST-41 totaling more than 100 million dollars. She also co-led the development of a funding program to support Tribal engagement in the environmental review and permitting process using Inflation Reduction Act Funding (IRA).

Before joining the Permitting Council PoQueen served as a political appointee under New Mexico Governor Lujan Grisham as the Governor’s Legislative Liaison, and as Director of Policy and Government Relations for the New Mexico Indian Affairs Department. She helped to coordinate interagency initiatives to progress state-Tribal relations on behalf of the Governor. Rivera successfully advanced several of the Governor’s legislative priorities in coordination with Tribes including helping to secure the first-ever multi-million-dollar infrastructure package to bolster economic development and critical infrastructure across 23 Tribal communities.

PoQueen’s previous experience also includes time in the federal government at the U.S. House of Representatives. She has worked on behalf of Tribes as an advisor and through an inter-Tribal organization representing 19 Pueblos in New Mexico and one Pueblo in Texas, and, she has participated in various WHCNAA Committee meetings before joining the organization.

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White House Council on Native American Affairs
1849 C Street NW, MS – 4146 – MIB
Washington, DC 20240