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The Samish Indian Nation says it has hired Ryan Walters as Director of Planning and Community Development and Kimberlee Anderson as Tribal Administrator.

Walters, an attorney and a fifth-generation resident of Anacortes, will be responsible for in-house legal review of contracts, ordinances and policies adopted by Tribal Council. He most recently served as assistant director of Skagit County’s Planning and Development Services Department where he worked on modernizing the development code, improving its management and organizational structure and streamlining the permit process. Prior to that role, he was a deputy prosecuting attorney for Skagit County.

He currently is in his seventh year serving as a member of the Anacortes City Council.

“Ryan has championed good governance, responsible land use and smart fiscal planning throughout Skagit County,” Wooten said. “I’m looking forward to his knowledge, experience and local presence to guide Samish and its Tribal Council on efforts moving forward across all departments.”

“This role is a fantastic opportunity to advocate for the well-being and prosperity of the Samish Indian Nation and its presence within the community,” Walters said. “I look forward to applying my experience in county and city government to push forward the planning and community development goals of the Tribe.”

Walters holds a law degree from the University of California, Davis, and a bachelor’s degree in political science and French from the University of Rochester in New York.

Anderson previously held the position of grants and contracts officer for the Metlakatla Indian Community in Alaska. In that role, Anderson administered and managed more than 100 grants and contracts as well as negotiations with government agencies and provided oversight for all audits. She also supervised all grant applications, information technology and records retention.

Raised in Metlakatla on the Annette Island Reserve, the sole recognized Indian Reservation in Alaska, Anderson graduated from Alaska Pacific University with a bachelor’s degree in business administration and an emphasis on international finance.

“With her wealth of knowledge and experience in managing federal, state and private grants, the Samish Indian Nation is excited to welcome Kimberlee to this role,” said Tom Wooten, chairman, Samish Indian Nation. “Her background and experience will be key in supporting Samish programs and strengthening our impact in key areas from health to natural resources.”

“As a mother and a grandmother, my foundation is deeply rooted in family and tribal culture,” Anderson said. “I am eager to see the community flourish by supporting the Samish Indian Nation’s efforts on a local, regional and national level.” 

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