National | Trust

Vince Logan starts work as leader of Office of Special Trustee

Vincent G. Logan. Photo from U.S. Department of the Interior

The Office of the Special Trustee for American Indians finally has a new leader after more than five years.

Vince Logan, a member of the Osage Nation of Oklahoma, started work this week after being confirmed by the Senate on June 26. He brings a background in financial and investment management to the position.

“I believe the protection and preservation of Indian trust assets is one of the Secretary of the Interior’s most sacred trust responsibilities,” Logan said today. “I look forward to supporting that critically important pillar of the trust.”

Logan also brings personal experience -- he is an Individual Indian Money (IIM) account holder. He has said he plans to focus on financial literacy in Indian Country, particularly among youth.

The American Indian Trust Fund Management Reform Act of 1994 created OST. The agency was designed to oversee trust reform efforts at the Interior Department after numerous reports showed management failures.

After some slow starts during the Clinton administration, OST quickly grew in size, budget and scope during the Bush administration. Tribal leaders complained that the Bureau of Indian Affairs was being punished by the dramatic expansion.

When President Barack Obama took office in January 2009, he left the Special Trustee position vacant. He didn't make an announcement about Logan until September 2012.

During that time, the Obama administration settled more than 60 tribal trust fund lawsuits as well as the Cobell trust fund lawsuit that was filed on behalf of IIM account holders. As part of the Cobell settlement, DOI created the National Commission on Indian Trust Administration and Reform to determine the future of trust reform.

The commission's December 2013 final report said it received a "great deal" of comments regarding the "sunsetting" of OST. The 1994 law envisioned that the agency would go away at some point but no deadline has been put forth.

Related Stories:
Senate confirms Vince Logan to run Office of the Special Trustee (06/26)
Sen. Tester presses for confirmation of three Indian nominees (05/12)
New Obama budget includes $139M for Office of Special Trustee (03/04)
Witness list for Senate Indian Affairs Committee's hearing (01/29)
Senate Indian Affairs Committee business meeting, hearing (01/27)
Senate committee advances Vince Logan nomination at OST (01/06)
Audio from SCIA hearing for nomination of Vince Logan at OST (12/11)
Senate Indian Affairs Committee sets OST nomination hearing (12/9)

Join the Conversation