University of Iowa law dean to lead Biden transition agency review team

University of Iowa College of Law Dean Kevin Washburn has been tapped by President-elect Joe Biden’s transition team to head a team reviewing the Department of Interior.

Washburn, who served four years as assistant secretary of Indian Affairs at Interior during President Barack Obama’s administration, will lead a team of 11 other volunteers in evaluating the operations of the federal agency.

Interior, with 70,000 employees, 280,000 volunteers and 2,400 operating locations, oversees the conservation and management of natural resources and cultural heritage.

The agency review teams will meet with former agency officials and experts, as well as officials from think tanks, labor groups, trade associations and other non-governmental organizations.

Washburn joined Iowa Law as its 18th dean in June 2018. Before that, he was a professor at the University of New Mexico School of Law and had served as its dean from June 2009 to October 2012.

A member of the Chickasaw Nation of Oklahoma, Washburn earned degrees at the University of Oklahoma and Yale Law School. He also clerked for a judge on the 9th Circuit, worked as a trial attorney and was general counsel to the National Indian Gaming Commission. He has held academic posts in Arizona and Minnesota and taught for a year at Harvard.

His team members come from various academic institutions, think tanks and environmental groups. Many of the transition team members have had long careers in the federal agencies they will be reviewing.

Comments: (319) 398-8375;

Give us feedback

We value your trust and work hard to provide fair, accurate coverage. If you have found an error or omission in our reporting, tell us here.

Or if you have a story idea we should look into? Tell us here.