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Pamela Cashwell Named State Administration Secretary, First Native American Woman To Lead An NC Cabinet Department

photo of Pamela Cashwell wearing blazer and positioned between U.S. and North Carolina state flags
North Carolina Department of Public Safety
Pamela Brewington Cashwell will move from being a deputy secretary in the North Carolina Department of Public Safety to lead the Department of Administration.

Pamela Brewington Cashwell, a veteran North Carolina state agency administrator and former federal prosecutor, was appointed on Wednesday by Gov. Roy Cooper as the Department of Administration secretary.

Cashwell, a chief deputy secretary and senior policy adviser at the Department of Public Safety, will become the first Native American woman to lead a Cabinet agency in North Carolina, Cooper's office said.

Cashwell will succeed Machelle Sanders, whom Cooper named in February the next Commerce Department secretary. Cashwell and Sanders are subject to state Senate confirmation.

The Administration Department oversees many internal business affairs, including purchase and contracting, the state’s motor fleet and government buildings and property.

Cashwell, who is Lumbee and Coharie, is a North Carolina native. She previously served as assistant director at the State Ethics Commission and was also a trial attorney in the U.S. Justice Department's civil rights division and a special assistant U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, the news release said.

Cashwell's "wealth of experience has prepared her to lead the agency that state government relies on for many critical support functions,” Cooper said in the release.

According to the governor's office release, Cashwell serves on the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s Alumni Committee on Racial and Ethnic Diversity and the Women’s Leadership Council. She graduated from the university with a bachelor's in economics and a Juris Doctor, the release said.

The appointment means that Cooper has filled all of his Cabinet positions that were vacated as he transitioned into his second four-year term.

WUNC's Laura Pellicer contributed to this report.

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