Vice Chairman Murkowski Announces New Committee Staff

U.S. Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), Vice Chairman of the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs (SCIA), welcomes additional staff to the Committee and provided the following statement.

“I am pleased that Amber Ebarb and Lucy Murfitt have transitioned over to the Committee. They provide a depth of knowledge and skill that will complement the Committee’s work to advance the lives of American Indian and Alaska Native people. Both women are familiar with the many issues affecting Indigenous peoples and I am confident they will serve the Committee and Indian Country exceptionally well,” said Vice Chairman Murkowski.

The following staff have joined the SCIA:

Amber Ebarb joins the Committee as Deputy Staff Director. Her Tlingit name is Gin Du Tlaa and she is L'eeneidí, a member of the Raven Dog Salmon clan. She is the daughter of Maurice and Audrey Ebarb, née Hanlon, and granddaughter of Katherine and Sam Hanlon of Hoonah, Alaska. She is a child of the Wooshkeetaan (Eagle Shark clan).

Previously, Amber served as Legislative Assistant to Senator Murkowski, handling the Alaska Native and Rural Affairs portfolio. She worked on a wide range of priorities, including legislation to address the epidemic of missing and murdered Indigenous women, bills to help respond to the COVID-19 pandemic, policies to improve rural public safety, land transfer legislation, Indian housing, and other federal policies that impact Native peoples.

Prior to the Senate, Amber worked at the National Congress of American Indians (NCAI), the Nation’s oldest and largest organization representing Tribes. While there, she facilitated Tribes in developing and advocating for consensus policy positions and contributed to NCAI’s Policy Research Center in coordinating research on tribal policy priorities. She also conducted data analysis and synthesis on key NCAI public policy and civic engagement initiatives, such as Census and Native Vote. While at NCAI, Amber earned a master of public policy degree from the George Washington University, with a focus in public budgeting, finance, and microeconomics in public policy. She earned her undergraduate degree from Whitman College in Washington State. 

Lucy Murfitt joins the Committee as Chief Counsel. Previously, Lucy served as Chief Counsel for the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources (ENR). Murfitt joined ENR in 2013, and previously served as the committee’s public lands counsel, deputy chief counsel, and deputy staff director for public lands and natural resources. While at ENR, she worked on a range of legislative priorities for Alaska and Native peoples, including Title II of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017, the John D. Dingell Jr. Conservation, Management and Recreation Act of 2019, and the Energy Act of 2020

Prior to her time on the Energy Committee, Lucy spent eight years as legislative counsel to U.S. Senator Jon Kyl, the Republican Whip, handling the energy, environment, and natural resources portfolio. She also worked at the Ecological Restoration Institute at Northern Arizona University as its director of policy and partnerships and for the Department of the Army as a trial attorney and advisor to the Base Realignment and Closure Office.

Murfitt is a U.S. Army veteran having served as a commissioned officer in the U.S. Army Judge Advocate General Corps. During her career as a JAG, Lucy supervised the Army’s administrative environmental litigation, was the Army’s lead legal advisor on Safe Drinking Water Act and Clean Water Act issues and was an environmental law course instructor at the United States Air Force Judge Advocate General School and the Army’s Management and Staff Colleges. 

Lucy studied philosophy and history as an undergraduate at the University of Scranton, and law at Loyola University School of Law in Chicago. After law school, she worked in rural western Pennsylvania, as a legal aid attorney for Northwest Legal Services providing legal representation to economically disadvantaged people. 

In July, Vice Chairman Murkowski announced the addition of Kristi Nuna’q Williams (Gwich’in and Koyukon) as the Committee’s first Alaskan Staff Director and General Counsel. Click here for the press release on the announcement.

Related Issues: Alaska Natives & Rural Alaska