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You are here: News Politics Nez, Lizer appoint two division directors

Nez, Lizer appoint two division directors

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WINDOW ROCK, ARIZ. Navajo Nation President Jonathan Nez and Vice President Myron Lizer announced the appointments of Bidtah Becker to serve as the Executive Director for the Navajo Nation Division of Natural Resources and Oliver Arviso as the new Division Director for the Division of General Services on Sept. 19. Both are members of the Navajo Nation.

Becker is originally from Ojo Encino, N.M. She is Kinłichíi’nii (Red House Clan) and born for Bilagáana (Caucasian). Her maternal grandfather is Tódich’ii’nii (Bitter Water Clan) and her paternal grandfather is Bilagáana (Caucasian). She will depart from her current role as the Deputy Secretary for Environmental Justice, Tribal Affairs and Border Relations at California’s Environmental Protection Agency to begin serving the Navajo Nation in early October.

Becker previously served as the head of the Division of Natural Resources from 2015 to 2019, and as an Associate Attorney for Navajo Tribal Utility Authority. Prior to those roles, she also served as the Assistant Attorney General for the Water Rights Unit, Natural Resources Unit, and Human Rights Unit under the Navajo Nation Department of Justice. Becker replaces former Executive Director Dr. Rudy Shebala, who resigned in August.

Becker has served on the Water and Tribes Initiative in the Colorado River Basin where she co-chaired the Universal Access to Clean Water effort, on the New Mexico Interstate Stream Commission, and on the Navajo Nation Water Rights Commission. She holds a B.A. in Foreign Service, School of Foreign Service, Georgetown University with a specialty in Latin American Studies and a Juris Doctor from the University of New Mexico School of Law.

“We are proud to welcome Bidtah Becker back to the Navajo Nation to lead the Division of Natural Resources once again. She offers a wealth of expertise and technical knowledge that will benefit each of the 12 departments within the division,” Nez said. “She represents the ninth Diné woman to currently serve as an executive director under our administration. We are very proud of her accomplishments and look forward to her work for the Navajo people.”

“I am honored that President Nez has asked me to return to Window Rock to serve the Navajo people and our precious natural resources. I look forward to re-joining a great team at the Division of Natural Resources and look forward to the great work we will do together,” Becker said.

Arviso is originally from Fort Defiance, Ariz. He is Hashk’ąą hadzohi (Yucca Fruit Strung Out in a Line Clan) and born for Tábąąhá (Water’s Edge Clan). His maternal grandfather is ‘Áshįįhi (Salt People Clan) and her paternal grandfather is Tséńjíkiní (Cliff Dwellers People Clan).

Arviso has served as the Deputy Division Director for the Division of General Services since May 2022, and previously served as an Executive Staff Assistant with the Office of the President and Vice President. He is a military veteran service member of the United States Army and a Soldier in the U.S. Army Active Reserves with the rank of Sergeant First Class. He enlisted after high school in 1991, through present day, with no break in service.

With 31 plus years of military service, SFC Arviso has served in four deployments overseas, including two tours in Operation: Iraqi Freedom from 2003-2006 and two tours assisting in Operation: Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan from 2010-2011 and 2014-2015.

SFC Arviso graduated from Army Basic Training and Army Military Occupational Specialist 71 Lima Advance Individual Training as an Administrative/Human Resources Specialist in 1991. He previously attended Scottsdale Community College and the ROTC program at Arizona State University in Military Science. He plans to retire with an Honorable Discharge of 32 years of service in December of 2022 from the United States Army Reserves.

“My passion has always been to work for the Navajo Nation, along with my service to our United States military. Now that I am nearing my military retirement, I have happily shifted my time and efforts back to serving our Navajo people,” Arviso said.

He went on to discuss how the pandemic changed his career course.

“The COVID-19 pandemic was the vehicle that brought me back to our Navajo people. During the height of the pandemic, I worked on the front lines in partnership with World Central Kitchen and the Office of the President and Vice President providing assistance in the form of boxed food for our Navajo people across all 110 chapters,” Arviso said.

He said he will be leaning on his past leadership knowledge to take on this new role.

“As an employee of the Navajo Nation, I channel all my past leadership knowledge of leading soldiers to now leading our employees on a daily basis,” Arviso said. “I have total support from my family, who have been the backbone of my continued drive to honor the Navajo people and employees with my service to God, family, our country and to our Navajo people.”

“Mr. Arviso’s extensive military background and professional experience is a great fit for the Division of General Services. He has served as the Deputy Director for some time now, and he’s demonstrated his leadership ability and continues to do a great job. We are very proud to bring a veteran onboard to continue serving our Navajo people and we are confident that he will continue to work hard and make progress,” Nez said.

He also thanked the man who Arviso will be replacing.

“We  also thank former Director Tom Platero, who has transitioned to lead the Navajo Nation Fiscal Recovery Fund Office to help implement the American Rescue Plan Act funds,” Nez said.

Staff Reports