|U.S. Department of Health and Human Services||FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, March 4, 2010
Contact: HHS Press Office
Secretary Sebelius Announces Senate Confirmation of Lillian Sparks as Commissioner of the Administration for Native Americans
HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius announced that, last night, the United States Senate unanimously confirmed Lillian Sparks to be Commissioner of the Administration for Native Americans, part of the Administration for Children and Families at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
"Lillian Sparks will be an outstanding leader at the Administration for Native Americans," said Secretary Sebelius. "She has devoted her career to supporting the educational pursuits of Native American students, protecting the rights of indigenous people, and empowering tribal communities. I look forward to working with her in the months and years ahead."
A brief bio of Lillian Sparks is below:
Lillian Sparks J.D, a Lakota woman of the Rosebud and Oglala Sioux Tribes, has served as executive director of the National Indian Education Association (NIEA) since 2004, where she has added over $1.4 million to the organization's $1.7 million annual budget, including securing a multi- year grant to support programs for Native American high school students from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Prior to joining NIEA, Ms. Sparks was a staff attorney with the National Congress of American Indians, where she worked on international indigenous rights, sacred sites and religious protection, and youth and health care issues. She also previously worked in the legal department at the National Indian Gaming Commission at the U.S. Department of the Interior. Ms. Sparks is a past president of the Washington, DC Chapter of the Native American Bar Association; a member of the National Congress of American Indians, and in 2004, was named one of seven young Native American Leaders by USA Today Magazine. She holds a BA from Morgan State University and a J.D. from Georgetown University Law Center.