Lawrence “Larry” Roberts at the 2016 White House Tribal Nations Conference. Photo: U.S. Department of the Interior

Former top Bureau of Indian Affairs official joins Washington firm

The official who ran the Bureau of Indian Affairs during the final year of the Obama administration has joined a prominent Washington law and lobbying firm.

From September 2012 through January 2017 Lawrence “Larry” Roberts, a citizen of the Oneida Nation, served in top leadership positions -- including as the acting Assistant Secretary for Indian Affairs -- at the BIA. He's now a part of the Native American Affairs team and the litigation team at Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton.

"This firm is unwavering in its commitment to protecting tribal sovereignty," Roberts said in a press release. "When tribes face significant litigation or regulatory issues, I look forward to being part of the firm’s team to proactively advance tribal rights for current and future generations."

The firm recently saw the return of Keith Harper, a citizen of the Cherokee Nation who served as the U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Human Rights Council under former president Barack Obama.

The firm's other prominent Obama-era hires include Venus Prince, a citizen of the Poarch Band of Creek Indians who was a senior legal official at the Department of the Interior, and Charlie Galbraith, a Navajo Nation citizen who worked at the White House.

Kipatrick Townsend's recent litigation victories include a federal judge's order calling for the removal of a gas pipeline from an Indian allotment in Oklahoma and a big water rights victory for the Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians in California.

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