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FCC Has a New Chief of Native Affairs

Denise Bambi Kraus has been named chief of the FCC’s Office of Native Affairs and Policy

Denise Bambi Kraus has been named chief of the FCC’s Office of Native Affairs and Policy.

That office was created in 2010 to “further the commission’s efforts to bring the benefits of modern communications to all Native communities.”

Matthew Duchesne had held the post since 2017.

Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel made the announcement. She said that ONAP will have four priority areas under Kraus.

In the area of mapping, “ONAP will lead Tribal consultation and provide technical assistance to ensure all Tribal Nations have the support that they need to participate in the agency’s ongoing broadband data collection effort and expand the accuracy of the FCC’s broadband availability maps,” the commission stated in its announcement.

It will also lead a Tribal Nation engagement strategy to connect Tribal libraries through the agency’s E-rate program; work within Native country to promote the Affordable Connectivity Program and its enhanced Tribal benefit; and help develop a framework for long-term telecommunications infrastructure sustainability through its Native Nations Communications Task Force.

Kraus was national tribal affairs advisor for the Federal Emergency Management Agency. She was founder and executive director of the nonprofit National Association of Tribal Historic Preservation Officers. She was a senior advisor for President Clinton’s Initiative on Race, assistant director of the National Indian Policy Center and museum technician at the National Anthropological Archives of the Smithsonian Institution.