Executive Branch

The executive branch sees to it that the Band’s laws are faithfully executed. The top official in the executive branch, the Chief Executive, is elected by Band members every four years. The Chief Executive appoints Commissioners, who are ratified by the Band Assembly, to oversee the various departments in the executive branch.

The executive branch is led currently by Chief Executive Melanie Benjamin, who was elected in 2012 and reelected in 2016 after also serving from 2000 to 2008.

The Executive Branch departments are the Department of Administration, the Department of Natural Resources, the Department of Education, the Department of Health and Human Services, and the Community Development Department.

The Solicitor General, who is appointed by the Chief Executive and ratified by the Band Assembly, oversees the Department of Justice, which includes the Tribal Police.

The Commissioner of Corporate Affairs operates the Band’s casinos and other businesses that are part of Mille Lacs Corporate Ventures. This Commissioner reports to both the Executive and Legislative branches.

The Chief Executive’s Office includes the Mille Lacs Band Chief Executive, assistants, and a coordinator. Melanie Benjamin, Chief Executive: 320-532-7486

Government Affairs

The Government Affairs staff conducts lobbying and communications efforts and ensures that the Band’s interests are properly represented, coordinated and monitored at the local, state and federal government levels.

Office of Government Affairs

320-532-7851



Katie Draper
Director of Government Affairs

320-515-0846


Jamie Edwards
Special Advisor to Government Affairs

612-850-2124


Shena Matrious
Government Affairs Area Relations/Special Projects

320-279-3132