Co-Chair Designee for Secretary of the Interior David L. Bernhardt
Tara Katuk Mac Lean Sweeney, a member of the Native Village of Barrow Traditional
Iñupiat Government and the Iñupiat Community of the Arctic Slope, became the 13th Assistant Secretary of the Interior on July 30, 2018. She is responsible for carrying out the Department’s trust responsibilities regarding the management of tribal and individual Indian trust lands and assets, and promoting the self-determination and economic self-sufficiency of the nation’s 574 federally recognized American Indian and Alaska Native tribes.
Ms. Sweeney is the first Alaska Native and the second woman to be confirmed for the position. She grew up in Utqiaġvik, in rural Alaska. She has served in leadership positions on numerous business and nonprofit boards at the state, national and international levels, including as executive vice president of external affairs for the Arctic Slope Regional Corporation, chair of the Arctic Economic Council, a trustee of the Ted Stevens Foundation, and co-chair of the Alaska Federation of Natives.
In 2008 the Alaska Journal of Commerce named her a “Top Forty Under 40” business leader. She led a team that won two Emmy® Awards from the Northwest Chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences for its IAM IÑUPIAQ commercial campaign in 2014 and its 2017 long-format documentary titled True North, the Story of ASRC. In 2017 she was inducted into the Anchorage ATHENA Society, a program of the Anchorage Chamber of Commerce that recognizes women as valued members and leaders of the business community.
Ms. Sweeney earned a B.S from Cornell University School of Industrial and Labor Relations. She is also a shareholder in the Arctic Slope Regional Corporation, the Alaska Native regional corporation established pursuant to the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act of 1971.