Zah resigns from Begaye-Nez administration


Peterson Zah, former Navajo Nation president and staff assistant/ambassador for President Russell Begaye, resigned his position effective this Friday.

In a resignation letter dated May 14, Zah hinted that he may be getting back into education or politics.


Peterson Zah

“The Navajo Nation and the United States are facing many important questions that require us as citizens to do what we can to address them,” Zah wrote. “While I consider my service to the Navajo Nation through your administration to be vital and important, these other issues are too important to ignore.”

One of the issues he mentioned is education.

“I have been an educator all my life, and this issue calls me once again,” Zah wrote in the letter. “There are several challenges and serious questions that require attention.”

Also important, Zah wrote, “are the upcoming state and federal elections that offer us the opportunity to reaffirm and reclaim our democratic way of life. Our democracy is being threatened and we, as a minority population, must mobilize our people and take action to attack the problems and reach solutions … It is my conclusion that is is time for me to move on.”

In a phone conversation, Zah acknowledged some may speculate he’s leaving because of the recent kerfuffle over Karis Begaye’s DWI charge, but he said that’s not it at all.

“I’ve been thinking about this for quite some time now, since before that happened,” he said. “It’s not one of those decisions where you just pick up your bags one day and go.”

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Categories: News
Tags: Peterson Zah

About Author

Cindy Yurth

Cindy Yurth is the Tséyi' Bureau reporter, covering the Central Agency of the Navajo Nation. Her other beats include agriculture and Arizona state politics. She holds a bachelor’s degree in technical journalism from Colorado State University with a cognate in geology. She has been in the news business since 1980 and with the Navajo Times since 2005, and is the author of “Exploring the Navajo Nation Chapter by Chapter.” She can be reached at