On July 13, Donald “Del” Laverdure, acting assistant secretary-Indian Affairs, announced the appointment of Thomas D. Thompson as director of the Indian Affairs Office of Budget Management according to a U.S. Department of the Interior press release.
Thompson, Cherokee, was previously a senior advisor for Indian Health Service (IHS) in Phoenix, Arizona before taking the position in Washington, D.C.
“The director of budget management for Indian Affairs plays a vital role in our effort to streamline the Indian Affairs organization to deliver efficient and cost-effective services to Indian country,” Laverdure said in the release. “Thomas Thompson is an experienced federal financial manager who has developed and deployed strategies that have increased efficiency, lowered costs, and raised productivity in federal programs. I am very pleased that he joined my team to help us achieve our financial management goals.”
“I am very grateful for this opportunity to return to the Interior Department to work with Acting Assistant Secretary Laverdure as part of his financial management leadership team,” Thompson said in the release. “I have confidence the improvements made to Indian Affairs’ service delivery processes and systems will increase their overall effectiveness for Indian Affairs employees and the tribes we serve.”
Thompson who brings 14 years of federal service experience with him that started as superintendent of the Bureau of Indian Affairs Ft. Belknap Agency in Harlem, Montana in October of 1997, will be responsible for providing leadership to ensure that Indian Affairs’ budget policy and appropriations support program continuity and are consistent with its mission. He will establish “policies and procedures for the budget execution function that ensure compliance with Office of Management and Budget (OMB) requirements, and directs all budget management functions and formulation activities in collaboration with IA program and planning offices and the IA Office of Congressional and Legislative Affairs.”
Thompson’s federal positions have included director of financial management for IHS Phoenix area offices; finance director for U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Center for Toxicological Research; chief financial officer and director of the Office of Finance and Accounting in IHS’s headquarters in Rockville, Maryland; and senior advisor of IHS Phoenix area offices.
Before his federal career began, Thompson held positions within the Cherokee Nation that included financial controller, executive director of tribal operations, president and CEO of gaming operations, and secretary and treasurer according to the release. He also owned and operated an accounting firm, Thompson & Company, in Stilwell, Oklahoma from 1992 to October 1997.
Thompson holds an associate’s degree in accounting from the Oklahoma State University School of Technical Training in Okmulgee and has licenses in Oklahoma, Arkansas and Montana as a Certified Public Accountant.