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Minnesota Fond du Lac leader takes White House job

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Tribal chair Karen Diver
Karen Diver
Bob Kelleher | MPR News 2009

The chair of the Fond du Lac Band of Lake Superior Chippewa in northeast Minnesota will leave that post in mid-November for a job in the Obama administration.

Karen Diver will become a special assistant to President Barack Obama on Native American affairs. Diver began working for the band in 2003 as director of special projects. She was elected tribal chair in 2007.

In a letter Monday announcing her resignation, Diver listed among her accomplishments the "on time and under budget" construction of the band's Black Bear Casino in Carlton, Minn., as well as efforts to expand Internet access, housing and health care.

"I am excited by the opportunity to have a wider impact in Indian Country under President Obama's Administration, which has shown unprecedented support for Indian Country," Driver wrote in the letter. 

In late 2013, Diver was named to a White House panel dealing with the effects of climate change. She was the only Minnesotan on the task force, and the only tribal representative from the lower 48 states.

Diver's resume includes a stint as the executive director of the YWCA of Duluth. She was also a founding member of the American Indian Community Housing Organization.