Hilary Tompkins was confirmed by the U.S. Senate as Solicitor of the Department of the Interior on June 17, 2009.
As Solicitor, Tompkins is the chief general counsel for Interior and represents the Department in administrative and judicial litigation and meetings, negotiations and other contracts with Congress, federal agencies, states, tribes and the public.
Before becoming solicitor, Tompkins served as an adjunct professor at the University of New Mexico School of Law. From 2003 to 2008, she was chief counsel to New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson, whom she advised on legal and policy issues including legislation, judicial appointments, executive orders, constitutional authority, civil litigation, statutory interpretation, and intergovernmental affairs. She also managed the legal staff in the Governor's office, supervised the general counsels in more than 20 state executive agencies, and advised the governor on Native American affairs.
Before joining Governor Richardson’s staff, Tompkins was an attorney with Sonoksy, Chambers Sachse, Endreson & Perry, a national law firm devoted to representing Native American interests. Prior to that, she served as a special assistant U.S. attorney in the Eastern District of New York.
During the Clinton administration, Tompkins served as an honors program trial lawyer in the Environment and Natural Resources Division of the U.S. Department of Justice where she handled civil prosecutions in environmental cases nationwide. She also served as a Special Assistant U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of New York in Brooklyn, New York, where she was lead counsel for a number of civil lawsuits in federal court.
She also served as a law clerk for the Navajo Nation Supreme Court in Window Rock, Arizona. Before becoming a lawyer, Tompkins worked for the Navajo Nation Department of Justice as a tribal court advocate after passing the Navajo Nation bar exam.
Tompkins, an enrolled member of the Navajo Nation, received a Bachelor of Arts degree from Dartmouth College (1990) and a Juris Doctor from Stanford University (1996), where she was associate editor of the Stanford Law Review.