President of the Navajo Nation

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President of the Navajo Nation
Navajo flag.svg
Flag of the Navajo Nation
Ben Shelly.jpg
Ben Shelly

since January 11, 2011
Term length Four years, renewable once
Inaugural holder Peterson Zah
Formation 1991

The office of President of the Navajo Nation was created in 1991 following restructuring of the national government. The president and vice president are elected every four years.

Under tribal law, office holders have to be fluent in the Navajo language.[1]

Office holders[edit]

Name Term Started Term Ended Vice President of the Navajo Nation
Peterson Zah January 15, 1991[2] January 10, 1995[3] Marshall Plummer
Albert Hale January 10, 1995[3] February 19, 1998[4] Thomas Atcitty
Thomas Atcitty February 19, 1998[4] July 23, 1998[5] Milton Bluehouse, Sr.
Milton Bluehouse, Sr. July 24, 1998[5] January 12, 1999[6] Frank Chee Willeto (from August 1998)
Kelsey Begaye January 12, 1999[6] January 14, 2003 Taylor McKenzie
Joe Shirley, Jr. January 14, 2003[7] January 11, 2011 Frank Dayish, Jr. (2003-2007)
Ben Shelly (2007-2011)
Ben Shelly January 11, 2011 Present Rex Lee Jim


  1. ^ Fonseca, Felicia (September 11, 2014). "Language factors into race for Navajo president". Houston Chronicle. 
  2. ^ "Democracy Era Begins For Largest U.S. Tribe". New York Times. 1991-01-17. Retrieved 2012-07-07. 
  3. ^ a b "President-elect Albert Hale Plans Changes For Navajos". Associated Press (Kingman Daily Miner). 1995-01-09. Retrieved 2012-07-09. 
  4. ^ a b Becenti, Deenise (1998-02-20). "With Law on Heels, Navajo Boss Quits; Hale Steps Down As Navajo Boss". Salt Lake Tribune. Retrieved 2012-07-09. 
  5. ^ a b "Navajo name new present - again; Bluehouse appointed". Associated Press (Kingman Daily Miner). 1998-07-26. Retrieved 2012-07-09. 
  6. ^ a b Rushlo, Michelle (1999-12-12). "Navajo inauguration is all-day event". Associated Press (Eugene Register-Guard (page 3A)). Retrieved 2012-07-09. 
  7. ^ "Navajo inauguration is all-day event". 2003-01-08. Retrieved 2012-07-09. 

External links[edit]