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Press Release

Release Date: June 03, 2022
by Chickasaw Nation Media Relations Office

Tobi Young, an attorney and human rights activist, was named the 2022 Chickasaw Nation Dynamic Woman of the Year by Chickasaw Nation Governor Bill Anoatubby during the recent Dynamic Women of the Chickasaw Nation Virtual Conference.

“Ms. Young is a Chickasaw citizen who has dedicated her life to public service and the pursuit of justice,” Governor Anoatubby said. “She carries on a legacy of public service as a descendant of Chickasaw Nation Governor Winchester Colbert, who served the Chickasaw people through various roles.”

The Chickasaw Nation Dynamic Woman of the Year Award honors Chickasaw women who have made significant contributions to the tribe, serve as role models to other Chickasaw women and have made a difference in the lives of Chickasaws and other citizens, enriching their communities and society at large. The Chickasaw Nation is historically matrilineal, and Chickasaw women have maintained vital roles throughout that history.

“Throughout our history, Chickasaw women played an important role in our community, and they still do today,” said Governor Anoatubby. “They are resilient, brave, dedicated, selfless, and we often use the word dynamic, which captures the many characteristics that describe Chickasaw women.”

The Dynamic Woman of the Year Award began in October 2006. Young is the 17th Chickasaw woman to be honored with the title.

Young has more than 25 years of experience in government and currently serves as the senior vice president for corporate and regulatory affairs at Cognizant Technology Solutions. She is also a director of the Cognizant Foundation and in addition, serves on the Halliburton board of directors.

“I am so grateful to receive this honor,” Young said of the Dynamic Woman of the Year Award.

She said her father taught her about her Chickasaw culture and the Chickasaw people’s perseverance in the face of adversity, which helped inspire her career in public service and law.

“He instilled the Chickasaw pride in me by teaching me about our family and about the stories of our people,” she said. “I learned about our ancestors serving in tribal government before Removal, our recognition of a woman’s rights in owning property – recognized before the U.S. government did.”

Young serves as a co-chair of the Women’s Democracy Network for the International Republican Institute (IRI). She also serves on IRI’s advisory council.

Young served as general counsel and board secretary at the George W. Bush Presidential Center, as well as general counsel in the office of the former president. Young was appointed as President Bush’s representative to the federal government under the Presidential Records Act.

Additionally, she served as U.S. Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch’s legal agent for his New York Times’ bestseller, “A Republic, If You Can Keep It.” In Austin, Texas, she has been active in supporting children through organizations, including Literacy First and the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. She was appointed as U.S. Supreme Court clerk for the 2018-2019 session by Justice Gorsuch, which made her the first enrolled citizen of a First American tribe to serve in this position. It also made her the third Oklahoman to retain this position.

Young helped enforce non-discrimination laws in public schools as a trial attorney in the civil rights division of the U.S. Department of Justice. She also served as counsel to the Assistant Attorney General for the civil rights division, where she helped implement civil rights policies in voting, employment, religious liberties and anti-human trafficking priorities.

In the start of her career, Young was the youngest press secretary on Capitol Hill working for Oklahoma Rep. J.C. Watts Jr. She also served as communications director for now-Sen. Jerry Moran.

Young received her law degree from the University of Mississippi in 2003, after graduating from Dartmouth College and George Washington University. She next became a clerk for Judge Jermone A. Holmes of the United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit.

“As an Oklahoman and a Chickasaw, she is proud to represent her home state and her tribe. She credits her success to remembering who she is and where she comes from,” Governor Anoatubby said, “Today, we recognize Ms. Tobi Young as a dynamic Chickasaw woman, a leader in our community, and a dedicated public servant and accomplished attorney.”

About the award

The Chickasaw Nation Dynamic Woman of the Year Award was established to honor Chickasaw women who have made significant contributions to the Chickasaw Nation and its citizens.

Women ages 35 and older with Chickasaw citizenship are eligible. Chickasaw Nation employees and elected officials are not eligible.

Visit Chickasaw.net/DynamicWomen to view the virtual conference. Nominations for the Dynamic Chickasaw Woman of the Year Award can be submitted by visiting Chickasaw.net/DynamicAward or contacting creative arts at CreativeArts@Chickasaw.net or (580) 272-5520.