Deputy Assistant Secretary for Native American Affairs| Commissioner, Administration for Native Americans (ANA)
Jeannie Hovland, an enrolled member of the Flandreau Santee Sioux Tribe of South Dakota, is the former Commissioner of the Administration for Native Americans (ANA), an agency within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. ANA promotes self-sufficiency for Native Americans by providing discretionary grant funding for community-based projects as well as training and technical assistance.
Hovland oversaw ANA’s discretionary funding programs to American Indians, Alaska Native, Native Hawaiians, and Pacific Islanders; served as an advocate for Native Americans; and coordinated activities within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to develop policies, programs, and budgets affecting Native Americans all under the authority of the Native American Programs Act.
As Commissioner, Hovland served in the dual role of the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Native American Affairs, affirming the government-to-government relationship between the Administration for Children and Families (ACF) and Indian tribes.
Since her confirmation in June 2018, she visited with hundreds of tribal leaders and community members in dozens of Native communities for listening sessions and tribal visits. In August 2018, the Commissioner testified before the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs to advocate for Native American language preservation and maintenance, and again on February 27, 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. In November 2019, she was appointed to the Federal Task Force on Missing and Murdered American Indians and Alaska Natives Visit disclaimer pageVisit disclaimer page.
Hovland chaired several advisory councils, including the ACF Native American Affairs Advisory Council and the Secretary’s HHS Intradepartmental Council on Native American Affairs (ICNAA). She serves as an advisor to the Secretary and provides advice, opinions, and 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, Hovland served as senior advisor to the Assistant Secretary for Indian Affairs at the Department of the Interior. Hovland has also served as the tribal affairs advisor to Senator John Thune (R-SD) for more than 12 years. Hovland played a key role in advocating for legislation at the requests of Indian tribes on such issues as agriculture, services for law enforcement and veterans, and quality access to healthcare. She worked to develop legislation such as the Tribal Law and Order Act of 2010 and the Code Talker Recognition Act of 2008.
Prior to her time in public service, Hovland was CEO of Wanji Native Nations Consultants which offered training services for Tribal programs and Tribal governments.