top of page

Nygren-Montoya Transition Team appointed following 2022 Navajo Nation Election

Richelle Montoya, wearing a traditional Navajo turquoise cluster brooch, a 5-string white shell necklace, a traditional turquoise and red shell necklace, and a traditional Navajo concho belt poses with a smile to the left of Dr. Buu Nygren, who is wearing a traditional Navajo turquoise and red coral necklace, a belt with a traditional silver and turquoise concho buckle, a turquoise bracelet, and a traditional Navajo silver and turquoise bow guard.
A portrait of Navajo Nation Vice President-elect Richelle Montoya and Navajo Nation President-elect Dr. Buu Nygren. (Photo credit: Larry Price)

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: December 15, 2022

WINDOW ROCK, Navajo Nation — Following the historic 2022 Navajo Nation Election, President-elect Dr. Buu Nygren and Vice President-elect Richelle Montoya named members of their incoming administration’s transition team that have been charged with ensuring a seamless transfer of power for the Navajo Nation Executive Branch on January 10, 2023.

President-elect Buu Nygren said: “We are working alongside the current administration to ensure that services to the Navajo people are delivered without interruption when we take the oath of office in January. Vice President-elect Richelle Montoya and I understand that the Navajo people elected us to move quickly from day one with an experienced team that will lead with competency, compassion, teamwork and commitment. Since the election, this team has brought together a strong group of candidates for executive director positions that will lead our divisions while ensuring current directors are able to share critical information with us. This is only one of their accomplishments so far. We want the Navajo Nation to know the transition is running smoothly.”

The transition team met virtually following the Navajo Nation General Election and held their first in-person meeting on December 8 at the Navajo Nation Department of Transportation (NDOT) building in Tsé Bonito, N.M.

Vice President-elect Richelle Montoya said: “President-elect Buu Nygren and I look forward to hearing from our youth, elders, families, and partners as our transition team lays the foundation for the Nygren-Montoya Administration’s operations. With the opening of the transition team’s office, we are committed to working with our hard-working and knowledgeable Executive Branch staff to ensure the Nygren-Montoya Administration is transparent, responsive and accountable to the Navajo people. We are focused on the future and the vision that the Navajo people voted for in November.”

The transition team includes a director, policy analysts, budget advisors, a communications director and several leaders from local Navajo communities. The transition team is responsible for collaborating with the 18 Executive Branch divisions, their programs, and the Navajo Nation’s tribal enterprises, boards and commissions on behalf of the incoming administration.

President-elect Buu Nygren and Vice President-elect Richelle Montoya appointed long-time presidential advisor and former Executive Branch Chief of Staff Patrick Sandoval as the director of the transition team.

Transition Director Patrick Sandoval said: “Our mission is to live through our campaign promise of Yideeskáadi Nitsáhákees, meaning that we will always think for the future. President-elect Nygren and Vice President-elect Montoya are ready to lead the largest Sovereign Tribal Nation in the United States beginning January 10, 2023. With the transition team appointed, we are now interviewing highly qualified professionals for division director positions, we are pursuing partnership talks with Governors and Congressional leaders, and we are truly focused on the future of our Great Navajo Nation. Our appreciation goes out to the Navajo Nation Division of Transportation for its leadership in this process as we officially open the doors to the Nygren-Montoya Transition Office.”

The Nygren-Montoya Transition Office is open to the public during regular business hours and is located in Room 128 and Room 129 of the NDOT main building. The NDOT building complex is located 2.4 miles east of the Window Rock junction of Highway 264 and Navajo Route 12.

The general public may contact the Nygren-Montoya Transition Office by calling (505) 371-8393 or by emailing for information.

The transition team’s work will be completed by January 10, 2023, at which time the team will be dissolved and their work transferred to the Office of the President and Vice President.

President-elect Nygren and Vice President-elect Montoya will hold a press conference in Window Rock during the first week of January to announce their selections for division directors and their appointments to the leadership positions for the Executive Branch and offices. More information on the press conference will be disseminated via press release by January 1, 2023.



Patrick Sandoval, Transition Director

Byron C. Shorty, Communications Director

(505) 371-8393

For press distribution, send an email to:

Download • 370KB

bottom of page