Navajo Nation President Ben Shelly

After serving as a Navajo Nation Council Delegate for sixteen years and four years as Vice President in the Shirley-Shelly Administration, Ben Shelly was sworn in as President of the Navajo Nation on January 11, 2011.

President Shelly was born in Thoreau, New Mexico. He is of the Tó’aheedlíinii clan born for Ts'ah Yísk'ídnii. His maternal grandfather is Ashiihi and his paternal grandfather is Totinii. His wife of 45 years, First Lady Martha Shelly, is originally from Coyote Canyon. She is Tábaahí and born for Tódích’ii’nii. Together they have five children and 10 grandchildren.

The President first began his service to the Navajo people in 1991 as a Council Delegate representing Thoreau Chapter. As a member of the Transportation and Intergovernmental Relations Committees, and chairman of the Budget and Finance Committee, he also served for 12 years as a McKinley County Commissioner.

Before returning to the Navajo Nation in 1976, President Shelly lived in Chicago, Illinois for 16 years, working for a heavy equipment company as a supervisor. He owned and operated a fleet maintenance and mechanic shop in Thoreau, before being elected to public office.

The President remains influential in the Democratic Party, is active in state & national politics, and continues to work closely with tribal leaders to ensure that critical services are provided to Indian Country.

The Navajo people elected President Shelly for his vision to bring stability to the government and to ensure a future of prosperity for the Navajo Nation.