Philip Harju, JD., Chairman, Cowlitz Indian Tribe
General Council Chairman and Chief Operating Officer
Philip Harju was born and raised in Clark County, Washington. He graduated from Hudson’s Bay High School in 1972, from Clark College in 1974, from the University of Washington in 1976 with a BA in Political Science, and from the University of Puget Sound, School of Law in 1979 with a Juris Doctorate in Law. He was admitted to the Washington State Bar in 1979. He served as a Thurston County Deputy Prosecuting Attorney from 1979-2008. He has served as the Cowlitz Tribal Attorney April 2008 – August 2020.
An enrolled member of the Cowlitz Indian Tribe, he was first elected to the Cowlitz Tribal Council in 2004 and was elected as the Cowlitz General Council Vice-Chairman in 2008, and re-elected in 2011, 2014, and 2017. In July of 2012 the Cowlitz Tribal Council also elected him as the Chairman of the Cowlitz Tribal Council for a one-year term. He took office as General Council Chairman upon the retirement of Chairman William Iyall in August 2020. He currently serves on the Cowlitz Executive Council, Cowlitz Audit Committee, Cowlitz Strategic Planning Committee, and the Cultural Board of the Cowlitz Tribe.