Press Release

DATE: Friday April 5, 2024

Chief Justice JoAnn Jayne named Bennie Francisco, Jr., as Administrator Director of the Courts with the Administrative Office of the Courts (AOC), effective April 1, 2024. His role will be to manage and oversee the administrative services provided to the Judicial Branch’s employees, courts, facilities, and programs throughout the Navajo Nation.

“His broad experience and in-depth wisdom gained in the Navajo Nation and federal government make him an excellent choice for this important work,” said Chief Justice Jayne. “Mr. Francisco stands ready to work with courts, peacemaking, and probation and parole Navajo Nation-wide to assist and equip them with the resources and equipment they need to administer a fair and impartial justice system for all.”

Francisco said it is an honor to serve in this capacity to the Judicial Branch and the Navajo Nation.

“I look forward to working with the entire Judicial Branch, justice partners, stakeholders and the community as a whole as we continue to improve our justice systems,” he said.

Francisco’s experience comes from federal service as the Tribal Court Assessment Director for the U.S. Department of the Interior, where he served tribal courts throughout the United States.  He is an adjunct professor at the University of New Mexico in the Native American Studies Department.  His prior professional experience includes policy advising for the Navajo Nation in the areas of budget appropriations, policy and legislation development, and external funding. Mr. Francisco holds a Master of Jurisprudence in Indian Law from the University of Tulsa College of Law and a Bachelor of Arts from the University of New Mexico.

Francisco is originally from Prewitt, New Mexico. He is Tsé nahabiłnii (Sleep Rock People) born for Kinyaa’áanii (Towering House).