Tadd Johnson is the University of Minnesota’s first senior director of American Indian Tribal Nations Relations. He was named to that post in 2019. Johnson is housed at the U of M Duluth, where he is director of the Tribal Sovereignty Institute and director of graduate studies in the American Indian Studies Department.
In addition to his academic work, Johnson is a resource to tribal governments and Native American people, with more than three decades of leadership and service in the field of federal-Indian law and policy. He served as a tribal attorney for more than 20 years, served as a tribal court judge and administrator, and is a frequent lecturer on American Indian history and federal Indian law.
He spent five years with the U.S. House of Representatives, ultimately becoming staff director and counsel to the Subcommittee on Native American Affairs. In 1997, President Clinton appointed Johnson to chair the National Indian Gaming Commission. He is nationally recognized in the area of Native American law and is an enrolled member of the Bois Forte Band of Chippewa. He serves on the boards of the Udall Foundation and the Native Governance Center.
Johnson earned his BA from the University of St. Thomas and his JD from the University of Minnesota Law School.