Burnside and Johnson hired to lead CTUIR departments

Posted by Jane Hill on 8/27/2020 12:00:00 PM

Mission, OR – The Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation (CTUIR) has hired Rob Burnside to serve as Director of Public Safety and Matt Johnson as Director of Communications. 

“The Tribe is very fortunate to have the experience and education of two very well qualified Tribal members to join the Management Team,” said Chuck Sams, Deputy Executive Director. “We look forward to their continued service to the Tribes and the community as a whole. 

Rob Burnside has been the Chief of the Tribal Fire Department since 2002. He was assigned to be Interim Public Safety Director when Ray Denny retired from the post in March. A longtime employee for CTUIR, Burnside began his career at Yellowhawk Tribal Health Center as a Safety Officer in 1991. He moved to the Fire Department in 1993 where he worked as the Hazardous Materials Coordinator until 2000 when he was elected to the Board of Trustees as the Vice Chairman where he served for two years.   

Matt Johnson is an attorney in the CTUIR Office of Legal Counsel (OLC) working on hazardous waste cleanup issues and natural resource restoration at the Hanford and Portland Harbor sites.  From 2017 through 2019, he oversaw the Energy and Environmental Sciences Program which addresses air quality, sustainable energy development, Hanford cleanup and natural resource restoration issues and includes the first nationally-accredited analytical lab in Indian Country as well as two greenhouses to grow native plants. He has worked as a Tribal lobbyist in Washington, D.C. and as a Policy Analyst in the Indian Health Services Office of Tribal Self-Governance in Rockville, Maryland. Johnson has a bachelor’s degree in American History from Willamette University and received his law degree from Lewis and Clark Law School.

Burnside will begin on September 1 as the Public Safety Director.  Johnson will begin work as Communications Director on October 1 after wrapping up his work in the OLC.