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Mark Antonio Cruz

Interior (joined: Sept. 24, 2018)

Deputy Assistant Secretary, Policy and Economic Development, Indian Affairs | $162,000

Bio, via US Department of the Interior- Indian Affairs:

Mark Cruz, an enrolled member of the Klamath Tribes in Oregon, is the Deputy Assistant Secretary–Indian Affairs for Policy and Economic Development (DAS-PED). He was appointed to that post by Assistant Secretary–Indian Affairs Tara Karuk Mac Lean Sweeney on September 24, 2018. The DAS-PED oversees the Office of Indian Energy and Economic Development (IEED) and the Office of Self-Governance (OSG). Mr. Cruz came to the Interior Department after serving on Capitol Hill, most recently as chief of staff to Representative Todd Rokita (R-Indiana) from 2017-2018 and on his legislative staff from 2014-2017. Prior to that office, from 2013-2014, he worked as a legislative fellow in the office of Representative Tom Cole (R-Oklahoma). On Capitol Hill, Mr. Cruz's legislative work focused on education, labor, civil service reform, appropriations, and oversight. He played a notable role in helping enact the Every Student Succeeds Act of 2015, and twice helped lead House passage of the Tribal Labor Sovereignty Act. A Teach for America alum, Mr. Cruz taught at the St. Francis Indian High School, a Bureau of Indian Education tribal grant school, located on the Rosebud Sioux Indian Reservation in South Dakota. While there, he earned the 2011-2012 St. Francis Indian High School Teacher of the Year award. That experience further instilled in Mr. Cruz the belief that all students deserve a high quality education as a means to accessing opportunity and achieving upward mobility. A 2006 Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation Millennium Scholarship recipient, Mr. Cruz attended Pepperdine University, where he earned a bachelor of arts degree in political science and Brown University, where he received a master of arts degree in urban education policy. While at Pepperdine, Mr. Cruz spent a year studying at in London, England; a semester interning at Fox News Channel and Representative Greg Walden’s office (R-Oregon) in Washington D.C.; and a semester studying in Shanghai, China. Outside of work, Mr. Cruz enjoys golfing, reading non-fiction American history, traveling the western United States and outdoor activities with friends.

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