FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: House Republican Leader Announces New Chief of Staff Selection, Mark Cruz

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: House Republican Leader Announces New Chief of Staff Selection, Mark Cruz


Oregon House Republican Leader Announces New Chief of Staff Selection

Klamath Tribal Member, Mark Cruz

Mark Cruz 

For Immediate Release

Wednesday, December 9, 2020

Contact: Jihun Han, 503-501-1677


House Republican Leader Announces New Chief of Staff Selection 

Salem, ORE. – Today, House Republican Leader Christine Drazan (R-Canby) released the following announcement on the selection of Mark Cruz as the House Republican Office’s Chief of Staff:

“I am excited to welcome Mark Cruz to the House Republican Office. Originally from my home town of Klamath Falls, Oregon, Mark Cruz has been an active public servant in Washington D.C. First, in the U.S. House of Representatives and most recently as a political appointee at the U.S. Department of the Interior. Mark’s strong commitment to public service and his tireless work ethic will serve him well as he supports the caucus and leads our staff in the Capitol.”

Mark Cruz added, “It’s an honor to be called home to serve and I am deeply humbled by this opportunity to join Leader Drazan’s team. I look forward to working closely with Leader Drazan, the caucus, and stakeholders to help Oregon families and strengthen communities across Oregon in the years to come.”

Cruz will begin on Monday, December 28, 2020.


Background: Mark Cruz, an enrolled member of the Klamath Tribes in Oregon, is currently the Deputy Assistant Secretary–Indian Affairs for Policy and Economic Development (DAS-PED).  He was appointed to that post by Assistant Secretary–Indian Affairs Tara Karuk Mac Lean Sweeney on September 24, 2018.  The DAS-PED oversees the Office of Indian Energy and Economic Development (IEED) and the Office of Self-Governance (OSG). He also assists the Assistant Secretary-Indian Affairs in overseeing and managing the Bureau of Indian Education, Bureau of Indian Affairs, Office of Indian Gaming and Office of Federal Acknowledgment.

Mr. Cruz came to the Interior Department after serving on Capitol Hill, most recently as chief of staff to Representative Todd Rokita (R-Indiana) from 2017-2018 and on his legislative staff from 2014-2017.  Prior to that office, from 2013-2014, he worked as a legislative fellow in the office of Representative Tom Cole (R-Oklahoma).  On Capitol Hill, Mr. Cruz’s legislative work focused on education, labor, civil service reform, appropriations, and oversight.  He played a notable role in helping enact the Every Student Succeeds Act of 2015, and twice helped lead House passage of the Tribal Labor Sovereignty Act.

A Teach for America alum, Mr. Cruz taught at the St. Francis Indian High School, a Bureau of Indian Education tribal grant school, located on the Rosebud Sioux Indian Reservation in South Dakota.  While there, he earned the 2011-2012 St. Francis Indian High School Teacher of the Year award.  That experience further instilled in Mr. Cruz the belief that all students deserve a high quality education as a means to accessing opportunity and achieving upward mobility.

A 2006 Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation Millennium Scholarship recipient, Mr. Cruz earned his bachelor’s degree at Pepperdine University and master’s degree at Brown University.