Washburn joined Iowa Law as its 18th dean on June 15, 2018. Most recently he was a Regents Professor of Law at the University of New Mexico School of Law and had served as its dean from June 2009 to October 2012, when he was appointed by President Obama and confirmed by the Senate to be the Assistant Secretary of Indian Affairs at the U.S. Department of the Interior. He served in that role until January 2016.
Washburn is a citizen of the Chickasaw Nation of Oklahoma. He earned a B.A. from the University of Oklahoma and a J.D. from the Yale Law School. Before entering academia, he clerked for a judge on the Ninth Circuit, worked as a trial attorney and then a prosecutor with the U.S. Department of Justice, and served as the general counsel of the National Indian Gaming Commission. As an academic, he has held faculty positions at Minnesota and Arizona, and taught for a year as a visitor at Harvard.
Washburn’s teaching experience includes criminal law, contracts, property, constitutional law, federal jurisdiction, and administrative law. He has taught and published casebooks in specialty subjects, primarily the law of gaming and gambling and federal Indian law.
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