UNM Alumna Becomes First Native American Secretary of the Interior

UNM alumna and New Mexico Congresswoman Deb Haalandwas recently confirmed as the newest member of U.S. President Joe Biden’s Cabinet.

The congresswoman is a 35th generation New Mexican, and a member of the Pueblo of Laguna with Jemez Pueblo heritage as well. Haaland graduated from UNM in 1994 with a degree in English, and went on to graduate from UNM School of Law in 2006.

Representative Deb Haaland, D-N.M., is sworn in before the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources hearing on her nomination to be Interior Secretary (Jim Watson/Pool via AP)

Haaland will lead the federal agency that oversees nearly 500 million acres of surface land – a majority of the nation’s public lands, waterways, wildlife preserves, national parks and mineral wealth – a role that has tremendous significance for the 574 federally recognized tribes. Read more about Deb Haaland’s historic confirmation through the UNM Newsroom and with The Daily Lobo.