PaaWee Rivera, son of George Rivera, former governor of the Pueblo of Pojoaque, is the new director of tribal affairs for the Biden Administration and senior adviser to the White House Office of Intergovernmental Affairs.
PaaWee Rivera, who was sworn in the day Biden was inaugurated, could not be reached for comment, but George Rivera said he is proud of his son’s accomplishments.
“He is going to do well in representing people across the country,” George Rivera said. “He is very young and bright, and energetic and wants to help people.”
After attending Santa Fe Prep, PaaWee Rivera graduated from Dartmouth College with a degree in government and a minor in Native American studies.
Rivera, 29, worked on Capitol Hill as a lobbyist for the law firm Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton LLP, before transitioning to positions within the Democratic National Committee.
Most recently, Rivera worked with the Biden-Harris campaign as its Western coalitions director. Prior to that, he served as Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s Western political director, Colorado state director for her 2020 presidential run and as a special adviser for the 2018 Senate reelection campaign.
Lynn Trujillo, cabinet secretary for the New Mexico Department of Indian Affairs, offered congratulations for the appointment in a prepared statement.
“It brings me immense pride to see President Biden place his trust in a tribal member from New Mexico to represent his White House to Native Americans across our country,” Trujillo said.