Kickapoo Tribal Member Joins SBA’s Office of Native American Affairs

A former public affairs specialist for the Interior, Shawn Pensoneau, an enrolled member of the Kickapoo Tribe of Oklahoma, has been appointed Assistant Administrator for the U.S. Small Business Administration’s (SBA) Office of Native American Affairs. In this role, he’ll oversee the office’s collaboration with American Indians, Alaska Natives and Native Hawaiians who seek to create, develop and expand small businesses. He’ll ensure they have full access to the business development and expansion tools provided through the agency’s entrepreneurial development, lending and procurement programs.

SBA Administrator Linda McMahon officially announced Pensoneau’s appointment.

“I’m glad to welcome Shawn to the SBA’s team and we look forward to the work he will do on behalf of Native American small businesses. With his leadership, we will continue to champion Native American entrepreneurs and provide them with the tools and resources to start and grow small businesses,” McMahon said.

Shawn D. Pensoneau

Prior to joining the SBA, Pensoneau was instrumental in informing secretarial decisions and actions to news media as a public affairs specialist at the Department of Interior’s Office of the Assistant Secretary for Indian Affairs.

Pensoneau previously served as Director of Governmental Affairs for the National American Indian Housing Council (NAIHC), where he worked to maintain a unified voice while addressing challenges throughout Native American communities. He also served on the National Indian Gaming Commission and for the Navajo Nation Washington Office.

Pensoneau is a graduate of Fort Lewis College in Durango, Colorado.

About the U.S. Small Business Administration

The U.S. Small Business Administration makes the American dream of business ownership a reality. As the only go-to resource and voice for small businesses backed by the strength of the federal government, the SBA empowers entrepreneurs and small business owners with the resources and support they need to start, grow or expand their businesses, or recover from a declared disaster. It delivers services through an extensive network of SBA field offices and partnerships with public and private organizations. To learn more, visit