Department of the Interior

Office of the Assistant Secretary - Indian Affairs

May 5, 2006
Contact: Nedra Darling

Senior Federal Executive Tom Dowd Selected for OIEP Director Post

Hopi tribal member is an experienced Labor Department administrator

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Interior Associate Deputy Secretary James E. Cason today announced the selection of Thomas M. Dowd, an enrolled member of the Hopi Tribe of Arizona and a senior Federal executive with the U.S. Department of Labor's Employment and Training Administration (ETA), as the new director of the Indian Affairs Office of Indian Education Programs (OIEP).  Dowd currently holds the position of Deputy Assistant Secretary for Administration and National Activity within ETA where he is responsible for the agency's overall administrative activities, national activities and performance.  His appointment to the OIEP Director post will become effective on June 11.

"We are very pleased that Tom Dowd has agreed to join our management team," Cason said.  "The OIEP Director's responsibilities require an extremely high level of technical and executive expertise critical to providing quality education to the American Indian communities we serve.  Tom is a seasoned, experienced administrator who will be invaluable in our efforts to improve the delivery of BIA-funded education services to Indian country."

As OIEP Director, Dowd will oversee the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) school system, which serves approximately 47,000 students and employs 5,000 teachers, administrators and support personnel in 184 elementary and secondary schools located on 63 reservations in 23 States, and the implementation of the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 (P.L. 107-100) and other applicable laws in the BIA-funded schools.  He also will be responsible for directing resources and technical assistance to 122 tribally administered BIA-funded schools and 25 tribal colleges, as well as providing direction and oversight for two BIA-operated post-secondary institutions.

"I am deeply honored to have been selected for this important post," Dowd said.  "The Office of Indian Education Programs, BIA schools and tribal colleges all have important roles in the delivery of quality education to Indian communities.  I appreciate having the opportunity to help lead the Interior Department's efforts to improve its education services to Indian people."  

In his current position, which he has held since February 2003, Dowd directly supervises five Senior Executive Service (SES) executives managing ETA's Offices of Policy Development and Research, Financial and Administrative Management, Performance and Technology, Foreign Labor Certification, and Apprenticeship, and provides leadership to 700 agency staff and 1,500 contractors.  (Prior to April 2006, his responsibilities also included managing the $1.5 billion Job Corps program.)  He also is responsible for the formulation and execution of the agency's $10 billion annual budget.

In July 2002, Dowd was appointed by the Assistant Secretary for Employment and Training to establish and manage ETA's Business Relations Group (BRG) Office to support the Assistant Secretary's vision to develop a "demand-driven" public workforce system.  His responsibilities included creating and building the new office from the ground up, and developing and expanding public/private partnerships to achieve the Assistant Secretary's goals for a trained and prepared 21st century competitive workforce.  He also oversaw and directed ETA's 2005 National Office reorganization, which included integrating the BRG Office with the Office of Workforce Investment, and provided leadership for the agency's activities in support of two Presidential initiatives: High Growth Job Training and Community-Based Job Training.

From January 2000 to July 2002, Dowd served as the Regional Administrator for ETA's Philadelphia Regional Office where he had the primary administrative responsibility for public workforce resources managed by the Mid-Atlantic States.  Dowd managed a staff of 110 career Federal workforce development professionals, approved the provision of technical assistance resources to support state and local workforce development strategies, ensured the proper use of Federal resources and program accountability, and established and maintained effective working relationships with State officials and career employees responsible for workforce development.

From May 1998 to January 2000, Dowd served as Associate Regional Administrator and Regional Administrator for ETA's Denver Regional Office where he had the primary administrative responsibility for the public workforce resources managed by the Rocky Mountain Region States.  There he managed a staff of 75 career Federal workforce development professionals.  It was during this time that he also completed DOL's SES Program.

From August 1994 to May 1998, Dowd served as Chief of the Division of Indian and Native American Programs (DINAP) where he oversaw the reorganization and revitalization of ETA's Indian and Native American Employment and Training Programs.  There he managed a staff of 20 career Federal employees responsible for the oversight and administration of over 200 grants managed by Indian, Native American and Hawaiian Native grantees.  He also was responsible for approving the provision of technical assistance resources to support state and local workforce development strategies.

Dowd has received numerous Federal service awards including the DOL Secretary's Exceptional Achievement Award (1997 to 2000, 2002 and 2005), the Senior Executive Service Exemplary Performance Award (2000 to 2005) and the Presidential Rank Award, Meritorious Executive (2004).

Dowd graduated from Grand Canyon High School, Grand Canyon National Park, in 1973.  He received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science from the University of New Mexico in 1979 and has completed several hours of graduate work at UNM.

Dowd also garnered international experience starting as a Rotary exchange student in Denmark (1971), then as a Peace Corps volunteer in Sierra Leone, West Africa (1979 to 1981), and later as a teacher and consultant in Hamamatsu, Japan (1990 to 1994).  More recently, he served as a Labor Department delegate to the U.S./E.U. Conference on Outsourcing in Brussels, Belgium (December 2004) and to the U.S./E.U. Conference on Competitiveness in The Hague, Holland (May 2005).