Kevin Washburn joined the University of Iowa College of Law as its 18th dean on June 15, 2018. Most recently he was a Regents Professor of Law at the University of New Mexico School of Law and had served as its dean from June 2009 to October 2012, when he was appointed by President Obama and confirmed by the Senate to be the Assistant Secretary of Indian Affairs at the U.S. Department of the Interior, where he served until January of 2016.
As Assistant Secretary of Indian Affairs, he was the highest ranking official in charge of federal Indian policy for the United States government, overseeing nearly 8000 employees of the Bureaus of Indian Affairs and Indian Education. In this role, he testified approximately 30 times before Congressional Committees and worked on a daily basis with the White House. He also appeared several times before the United Nations in Geneva to defend our nation’s adherence to international treaties.
Kevin graduated from Yale Law School, and has been a trial attorney at the Department of Justice in Washington, D.C., and a federal prosecutor in New Mexico. He also served as the general counsel of the National Indian Gaming Commission, a federal regulatory agency in Washington, D.C. As an academic, he has taught law at the University of Arizona, the University of Minnesota and Harvard Law School and served as the dean of the University of New Mexico School of Law. He also has several books to his name, and is a co-author/co-editor of the Cohen Handbook of Federal Indian Law.
His teaching experience includes criminal law, contracts, property, constitutional law, federal jurisdiction, and administrative law. He has taught and published casebooks in specialty subjects, primarily the law of gaming and gambling and federal Indian law.
Kevin is a citizen of the Chickasaw Nation of Oklahoma.