Carrie Drouin (HCOM ’03) has joined the Washington office of the Navajo Nation, where she serves as a government and legislative affairs associate.
She works on issues around health, housing, taxation and social services.
After earning a law degree at Golden Gate University, she was employed by DNA-People’s Legal Services, a nonprofit that provides free legal help in civil matters to low-income people in three Southwestern states and seven Native American nations.
DNA is an acronym for the Navajo phrase Dinébe’iiná Náhiiłna be Agha’diit’ahii, which means “attorneys who work for the economic revitalization of The People.”
Drouin has certainly done that. During her time with the nonprofit, she traveled throughout the Southwest, making appearances on behalf of clients in tribal, state and federal courts. She assisted clients with problems relating to consumer issues, taxation, family, elder and employment law, and frequently made presentations to community groups on legal issues.
She led a team of attorneys in drafting the Model Tribal Consumer Code for the First Nations Development Institute.
She is licensed to practice law in the Navajo Nation, California, New Mexico and in U.S. Tax Court.
Originally from Lodi, Drouin first visited Fort Ord long before CSUMB existed.
“My dad was a Marine,” she said in an interview while still a student at CSUMB, “and we stayed in base housing when I was in sixth grade. We visited because my dad raced cars at Laguna Seca. I just really liked the area.”
After a rocky start, she came to love the university. “I got hooked,” she said. “The relationships with all the people I met, and in HCOM you get to know your professors. For students, there are so many opportunities to get involved, and I got involved.”
Did she ever: she was captain of the women’s rugby club, a member of the multicultural club, an orientation leader, student government judicial director and statewide affairs representative, and winner of the President’s Award for Exemplary Student Achievement the year is graduated.
She's no stranger to the nation's capital – while a student at CSUMB, she spent a semester in Washington, D.C., as a Panetta Congressional intern.
Learn about the Alumni Association at CSUMB.
(Some information courtesy of the Navajo Nation Washington office)