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University of Washington
External Affairs
Posted: 12/6/2021
Director of Tribal Relations
Salary: commensurate
As a University of Washington employee, you have a unique opportunity to change lives on our campuses, in our state and around the world. UW employees offer their boundless energy, creative problem solving skills and dedication to build stronger minds and a healthier world.

UW faculty and staff also enjoy outstanding benefits, professional growth opportunities and unique resources in an environment noted for diversity, intellectual excitement, artistic pursuits and natural beauty.

The Office of External Affairs is responsible for influencing public policy and opinion, communicating about university priorities, challenges, and achievements, and strengthening the university’s reputation and public perception.  Units include the offices responsible for government and community relations at the federal, state, regional and Spokane/Eastern Washington levels, campus video production, KUOW public radio and an executive, administrative and events and communications staff.

We have an outstanding opportunity for a Director of Tribal Relations.

An essential member of the External Affairs team who reports directly to the President and the Vice President for External Affairs, the Director of Tribal Relations manages the government-to-government relationship between the University of Washington and the American Indian tribes across the state and northwest region.  The Director of Tribal Relations serves as a primary point of contact for Tribal issues and acts as a liaison between the University with Tribal governments.  The Director is responsible for strengthening the University’s relationships with Tribal governments in a mutually reinforcing and sustainable partnership.  The Director works closely with the Vice President for Minority Affairs & Diversity, the Director of Intellectual House, other government relations directors in the Office of External Affairs, marketing and communications staff, and other relevant campus officials to carry out duties and responsibilities.

Duties and Responsibilities

• Meet regularly with Tribal leaders and affiliated organizations in the state and region to build, strengthen and sustain the government-to-government relationship with the University of Washington.
• Develop and execute an annual plan and a five-year plan for outreach visits to Tribal nations and communities for the President and other senior campus officials.
• Advise the President, Vice President for External Affairs, the Vice President for Minority Affairs and Diversity and other senior members of University leadership on issues affecting tribes and Native communities.
• In consultation with University senior leadership, communicate to tribes and Native communities the comprehensive resources of the university.
• Develop a high-level overview of each of the Tribal nations and communities in the state and region.
• In preparation for the annual Tribal Leadership Summit, work with Tribal leaders, Board of Deans and Chancellors, Cabinet level leadership and other appropriate campus officials to determine timely agenda items for discussion.
• In consultation with tribal officials and University leadership, develop strategies, procedures, and protocols for University discussions and with tribal governments with the goal of creating mutually beneficial agreements and partnerships.
• Engage with American Indian and Alaska Native focused agencies and organizations in the state, including the Governor’s Office of Indian Affairs and the Northwest Indian Fisheries Commission, Columbia River Intertribal Fishery Commission, United Indians of All Tribes Foundation, the Potlatch Fund and other related Intertribal organizations in the northwest region.
• In cooperation with the Governor’s Office of Indian Affairs, coordinate regular government to government training for University officials.
• Serve as a representative of the University of Washington at related tribal events in the state of Washington and at relevant regional, and national meetings.
• Serve as a resource for all interested University faculty and administrators who seek to build relationships with Tribes and indigenous communities.
• Coordinate and collaborate with other University tribal liaisons.

Requirements include:

• BA/BS and a minimum of 5 years of relevant work experience, ideally in positions that have served American Indians/Alaska Native and other diverse constituencies in Washington or in other states.
• Demonstrated understanding of the history, cultural distinctiveness, protocols, traditions, contributions, and sovereignty of Tribal Nations as well as an understanding of current issues facing Native communities.
• Experience working in or with government or legislative organizations.
• Collaborative leadership style and analytical and strategic thinking ability.
• Strong and effective written, verbal, and interpersonal communication skills.
• Ability to function independently and effectively in a stressful working environment.

Equivalent education/experience will substitute for all minimum qualifications except when there are legal requirements, such as a license/certification/registration.


• Master’s degree and experience working in a higher education environment or tribal government, related experience or education maybe considered.
• Enrolled member of a federally recognized tribe strongly preferred.

As a UW employee, you will enjoy generous benefits and work/life programs. For a complete description of our benefits for this position, please visit our website,

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The application process for UW positions may include completion of a variety of online assessments to obtain additional information that will be used in the evaluation process.  These may include Work Authorization, Cover Letter and/or others.  Any assessments that you need to complete will appear on your screen as soon as you select “Apply to this position”. Once you begin an assessment, it must be completed at that time; if you do not complete the assessment, you will be prompted to do so the next time you access your “My Jobs” page. If you select to take it later, it will appear on your "My Jobs" page to take when you are ready. Please note that your application will not be reviewed, and you will not be considered for this position until all required assessments have been completed.

Applicants considered for this position will be required to disclose if they are the subject of any substantiated findings or current investigations related to sexual misconduct at their current employment and past employment. Disclosure is required under Washington state law.

Committed to attracting and retaining a diverse staff, the University of Washington will honor your experiences, perspectives and unique identity. Together, our community strives to create and maintain working and learning environments that are inclusive, equitable and welcoming.

The University of Washington is a leader in environmental stewardship & sustainability, and committed to becoming climate neutral.

The University of Washington is an affirmative action and equal opportunity employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, national origin, age, protected veteran or disabled status, or genetic information.

To request disability accommodation in the application process, contact the Disability Services Office at 206-543-6450 or


Governor Inslee's Proclamation 21-14.2 requires employees of higher education and healthcare institutions to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 unless a medical or religious exemption is approved. Being fully vaccinated means that an individual is at least two weeks past their final dose of an authorized COVID-19 vaccine regimen. As a condition of employment, newly hired employees will be required to provide proof of their COVID-19 vaccination. View the Final candidate guide to COVID-19 vaccination requirement webpage for information about the medical or religious exemption process for final candidates.