Social Security Introduces New Director for the Office of Native American PartnershipsReading Time: 2 Minutes
Last Updated: February 13, 2023
Acting Commissioner Kilolo Kijakazi appointed Richard Litsey as the Director for the Office of Native American Partnerships, the new Social Security Administration tribal office within the Office of the Commissioner. This office serves to elevate and centralize efforts to administer comprehensive programs and policies related to American Indians and Alaska Natives. It will enhance the agency’s relationship with Tribes and serve as the primary point of contact on Tribal affairs for all stakeholders.
“I am very pleased to welcome Richard Litsey as the first Director of our new office. Richard brings a wealth of experience advising federal agencies on ways to improve public programs and services for American Indians and Alaska Natives,” Acting Commissioner Kijakazi said. “Our Office of Native American Partnerships provides Tribal communities more representation and strengthens our commitment to reducing barriers to ensure people who are eligible for our benefits receive them.”
“I am thrilled to lead the new Office of Native American Partnerships, which will further develop and maintain a strong presence with Tribes nationwide to ensure effective delivery of our services to retirees, people with disabilities, and elder populations,” commented Richard Litsey. “The office serves as the agency’s primary point of contact for external and internal stakeholders on Tribal affairs.”
The Office of Native American Partnerships is responsible for many functions to assist Tribal communities throughout the country. It seeks to improve services to communities by engaging in meaningful national and regional policy consultations, roundtable discussions, and seminars with Tribal and Federal experts. It also coordinates internal agency Native American efforts, increases external program awareness to the Tribal community, helps to recruit a diverse candidate pool for hiring at all levels of Social Security, and serves as the primary point of contact for Tribal Government Offices to foster transparency and collaboration. Additionally, the office will conduct ongoing data collection and analysis to improve outreach to Tribal communities.
The Office of Native American Partnerships supports President Biden’s 2021 Executive Order (EO) 13985: Advancing Racial Equity and Support for Underserved Communities, as well as other federal guidance on coordination and collaboration with Tribal Governments.
Mr. Litsey previously worked for the National Indian Health Board as the Director of Policy and Advocacy, the U.S. Senate as Counsel & Senior Advisor for Indian Affairs, Committee on Finance, and the Social Security Administration as a Hearing Office Director and Senior Attorney. He is an enrolled member of the Muscogee (Creek) Nation and a member of the Federal Bar Association, Capitol Hill Chapter.
To learn more, please visit American Indians and Alaska Natives (AIAN) | SSA.
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