Jeannie Hovland, an enrolled member of the Flandreau Santee Sioux Tribe of South Dakota, is the Commissioner of the Administration for Native Americans, an agency within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Ms. Hovland oversees ANA’s discretionary funding programs to American Indians, Alaska Natives, Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders and coordinates activities within HHS to develop policies, programs and budgets affecting Native Americans, all under the authority of the Native American Programs Act. As Commissioner, Ms. Hovland also is the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Native American Affairs, affirming the government-to-government relationship between the Administration for Children and Families and Indian tribes.
Since her confirmation in June 2018, Ms. Hovland has visited with hundreds of tribal leaders and community members for listening sessions and tribal visits. She testified before the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs in August 2018 to advocate for Native American language preservation and maintenance, and in February 2019 to promote social and economic development in Native American communities. In September 2019, she testified to the House Subcommittee for Indigenous Peoples of the United States on the crisis of Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women.
Ms. Hovland chairs the ACF Native American Affairs Advisory Council and the HHS Secretary’s Intradepartmental Council on Native American Affairs. As an adviser to the HHS Secretary, she reviews policies affecting Native Americans while addressing issues of importance to tribal communities through partnership with all of the HHS Operating and Staffing Divisions.
Prior to her appointment, Ms. Hovland served as senior adviser to the Assistant Secretary for Indian Affairs at the Department of the Interior. She also served as the tribal affairs advisor to Senator John Thune (R-SD) for more than 12 years, where she helped develop legislation which became the Tribal Law and Order Act of 2010 and the Code Talker Recognition Act of 2008.