Office of Native American Affairs | Leadership

Office of Native American Affairs

Shawn Pensoneau
Assistant Administrator

Shawn PensoneauShawn Pensoneau joined the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) as Assistant Administrator for the Office of Native American Affairs (ONAA) in October 2018.  In this role, Pensoneau oversees ONAA’s collaboration with American Indians, Alaska Natives and Native Hawaiians who seek to create, develop and expand small businesses and ensure they have full access to the business development and expansion tools available through the agency’s entrepreneurial development, lending and procurement programs.  This includes workshops, technical assistance and training and to engage in outreach activities such as developing and distributing educational materials. 

Prior to joining the SBA, Pensoneau served as a public affairs specialist at the Department of Interior’s Office of the Assistant Secretary for Indian Affairs.  In this capacity, he was involved with providing information on secretarial decisions and actions to news media and other entities interested in Indian Affairs via news releases, media relations, and the Indian Affairs website.

Before his employment with the Department of the Interior, Pensoneau served as Director of Governmental Affairs for the National American Indian Housing Council (NAIHC).  In this role, Pensoneau worked to achieve the organization’s success by maintaining a unified voice when working on various challenges throughout Native American communities. 

Pensoneau has also worked for the National Indian Gaming Commission and the Navajo Nation Washington Office.

Pensoneau is a graduate of Fort Lewis College in Durango, Colo.  He resides in Alexandria, Va., with his wife and daughter, and is an enrolled member of the Kickapoo Tribe of Oklahoma.