Kevin Gover Named Director of Smithsonian's National Museum of the American Indian
Kevin Gover has been named director of the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of the American Indian, effective Dec. 2. He is a professor of law at the Sandra Day O'Connor College of Law at Arizona State University in Tempe, an affiliate professor in its American Indian Studies Program and co-executive director of the university's American Indian Policy Institute.
Gover, 52, grew up in Oklahoma and is a member of the Pawnee tribe. He received his bachelor's degree in public and international affairs from Princeton University and his law degree from the University of New Mexico. He was awarded an honorary doctor of laws degree from Princeton University in 2001.
"We're delighted that Kevin Gover will lead the Smithsonian's National Museum of American Indian in the next phase of its service to the public," said Cristián Samper, Acting Secretary of the Smithsonian. "Mr. Gover's extensive experience in Washington and with Indian communities, his deep interest in and knowledge of Indian history and culture and his commitment to bringing the vast resources of the National Museum of the American Indian to the broadest possible audience will enable him to provide strong and effective leadership to the museum."
"I am deeply honored to be the next director of the National Museum of the American Indian," said Gover. "The museum's mission of educating the public about living Native cultures is an important and challenging one, and I am grateful for the opportunity to build upon the strong foundation created by the museum's founding director, Rick West." Gover added, "I will miss my colleagues and students at Arizona State University and my many friends from the Indian nations of Arizona, but I do look forward very much to serving the Native peoples of the Americas, the American public and the museum's international visitors."
Gover joined the faculty at the Sandra Day O'Connor College of Law at Arizona State University in 2003 and serves on the faculty of the university's prestigious Indian Legal Program. He has taught courses in federal Indian law, administrative law and statutory interpretation, as well as an undergraduate course in American Indian policy.
A presidential appointee, Gover served as the assistant secretary for Indian Affairs in the U.S. Department of the Interior from 1997 to 2000. He was responsible for policy and operational oversight of the Bureau of Indian Affairs, the agency responsible for the federal government's relations with Indian