Tony Dearman has been named to head the Bureau of Indian Education, which has oversight of nearly 200 schools in some 20 states.
The federal bureau has faced scrutiny after a government-watchdog report found that officials had failed to ensure that regular inspections were carried out at dozens of schools, where safety hazards surfaced.
Dearman, who is Cherokee, previously served as an associate deputy director of the BIE. Officials said his appointment as director came after he helped the agency reorganize to give tribes more control of their local schools.
A version of this article appeared in the November 16, 2016 edition of Education Week as Transitions