Ross Swimmer

Ross Swimmer
Principal Chief of the Cherokee Nation
In office
Preceded by W.W. Keeler
Succeeded by Wilma Mankiller
Personal details
Born (1943-10-26) October 26, 1943
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
Spouse(s) Margaret Swimmer
Children 2
Residence Tulsa, Oklahoma
Alma mater University of Oklahoma
Profession businessman[1]

Ross O. Swimmer (b. October 26, 1943)[2] is the Special Trustee for American Indians at the U.S. Department of the Interior.[3] Swimmer attended the University of Oklahoma,[1] where he received both his Bachelor of Arts and Juris Doctor degrees.[3] While there, he was a member of Alpha Sigma Phi Fraternity.

He is an enrolled member of the Cherokee Nation and served as Principal Chief[3] from 1975–1985, when he resigned to accept the position of Assistant Secretary of Indian Affairs with the Bureau of Indian Affairs, a bureau within the U.S. Department of the Interior. Wilma Mankiller, Deputy Chief of the Cherokee Nation succeeded Swimmer as Chief of the Cherokees.

Swimmer served as president of the Cherokee Group, L.L.C., from 1995 until 2001. The Group is a consulting firm that represents Indian clients engaged in government issues at the state and federal level, and supports the development of businesses on Indian lands. He was also Of Counsel to the Tulsa, Oklahoma, based law firm of Hall Estill, where his wife Margaret is a Partner.

Working with the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in New York, Swimmer created a self-help program for rural community development.[1]

On November 26, 2001, he was appointed by the Bush Administration to be the Director of the Office of Indian Trust Transition, which is a Department of Interior office that is attempting to bring the Indian Trust accounting process up to minimum court-ordered standards (Cobell v. Kempthorne).

Preceded by
W.W. Keeler
Principal Chief of the Cherokee Nation
Succeeded by
Wilma Mankiller


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