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Nygren-Montoya Transition Team prepares for smooth transition on January 10

Updated: Jan 9

Navajo Nation President-elect Buu Nygren and Vice President-elect Richelle Montoya pose at the Window Rock Veterans Memorial Park in Window Rock.
Navajo Nation President-elect Buu Nygren and Vice President-elect Richelle Montoya.


WINDOW ROCK, Navajo Nation — Navajo Nation President-elect Dr. Buu Nygren and Vice President-elect Richelle Montoya’s Transition Team has completed significant work ahead of the January 10 Navajo Nation Inauguration.

President-elect Nygren said: “It’s been a productive transition period since the General Election, and we want to thank all of the Navajo Nation Executive Branch team members for their collaboration and partnership in sharing updates and information with the Transition Team. There are many moving parts to the Navajo Nation Government that we are now aware of and planning for so that we have a smooth transfer of power come January 10. We place particular emphasis on ensuring our Navajo Nation employees continue their work uninterrupted because the direct services they provide are important for our people. Vice President-elect Richelle Montoya and myself are ready to take our oaths of office and we continue to invite the Navajo People to attend the 2023 Navajo Nation Inauguration taking place in Fort Defiance.”

The Nygren-Montoya Transition Team has completed preliminary interviews with Navajo Nation Executive Branch division director applicants both over Zoom videoconferencing and through in-person follow-up meetings. Selections from the pool of applicants for executive director appointments are expected to be announced over the next two weeks once applicant background check processes are completed and evaluated.

Transition Team Director Patrick Sandoval said: “The Nygren-Montoya Transition Team had a great number of applicants for executive director appointments, and we have done our best to ensure the applicants that hold the right combination of institutional knowledge and professional experience are selected. It takes a lot of work to hit the ground running and that’s exactly what the Transition Team has kept in mind when reviewing applicants. We are looking forward to completing the Transition Team’s work, which includes the past few weeks of Executive Branch program presentations to our leadership team.”

The Transition Team invited 17 Executive Branch divisions to deliver comprehensive reports during three-hour program meetings at the transition office in Tsé Bonito, New Mexico. In total, 16 reports were successfully received that will provide the basis for the incoming administration’s immediate executive actions.

Follow-up meetings for Executive Branch programs are expected to be conducted following the swearing-in of President-elect Nygren and Vice President-elect Montoya.

Vice President-elect Montoya said: “It’s been a month full of long hours for the team to get this transition effort situated and functional. We appreciate the work of all our Navajo Nation employees and the assistance of our partners through this process, which is ultimately part of laying the administrative foundation for the incoming Nygren-Montoya Administration. We also appreciate the work of the Inauguration Committee leadership that included members of the Legislative and Executive Branches. We continue to hold the promise of the New Year near to our hearts and minds in carrying out this work for the Diné people, and we are excited to begin this new journey on January 10.”

The Transition Team is expected to conclude its work shortly before noon on Tuesday, January 10, thereafter allowing the incoming Nygren-Montoya Administration to be established and seated with the work collected by the team.

The 2023 Navajo Nation Inauguration will take place Tuesday, January 10, starting at 10AM (MT) at the Bee Hółdzil Fighting Scouts Event Center in Fort Defiance. The general public is invited to the inauguration ceremony, which is free of charge. Entry to the reception, gospel celebration, pow-wow and gourd dance, and comedy show are free and open to the public. Tickets for the Inaugural Ball are sold out.

More information on the inauguration is available at:



Patrick Sandoval, Transition Director

Byron C. Shorty, Communications Director

(505) 371-8393

For press distribution, send an email to:

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