Denise Desiderio

Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP

Denise Desiderio focuses her practice on American Indian law and policy matters. She has 15 years of experience in advising on American Indian policy and regulation, working on behalf of NCAI, the largest national organization for tribal governments, and the U.S. government. In her role at NCAI, she was responsible for overseeing policy, advocating to Congress and the White House, and communicating directly with leaders of tribal governments on policy matters.

Denise is a former deputy staff director and senior counsel for the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs. During her time with the committee, she provided policy, legislative and strategic advice to the chairman and supported the advancement of committee policy through bipartisan Senate outreach.Denise also served as counselor in the Office of the General Counsel for the National Indian Gaming Commission, where she advised the chairman and commissioners on actions taken by the Commission under the authority of the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act (IGRA). There, she was responsible for:

  • Preparing and implementing the Commission’s facility license regulations.
  • Conducting internal and external training on the regulations.
  • The legal review of tribal gaming ordinances, management contracts, facility license submissions and issues related to Indian lands.
  • Developing and implementing an Indian lands database providing information on lands where gaming facilities are located.
  • Reviewing facility environmental impact statements.
  • Responding to Freedom of Information Act appeals.
  • Performing the day-to-day oversight and review mandated by the IGRA.

Earlier in her career, Denise served in the Department of the Interior as the special assistant to the Assistant Secretary for Indian Affairs, where she advised on legal and policy issues impacting tribal governments. On behalf of the Assistant Secretary, she conducted meetings with tribal representatives and acted as liaison with other federal agencies, tribal governments and departmental leadership.


  • Member of the Sappony Tribe and the Tribal governance project, charged with revamping the tribal constitution.
  • Has 15 years of experience advising on American Indian policy and regulation.
  • Served as policy director for the National Congress of American Indians (NCAI).


  • Member and counsel to the Tribal Council, Sappony Tribe.


  • J.D., The George Washington University Law School, 2007
  • B.A., Marymount University, 2003


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What types of cases Attorney Denise Desiderio & Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP can handle?
Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP can handle cases related to laws concerning Financial Services, Real Estate, Energy Utilities & Environmental. We manually verify each attorney’s practice areas before approving their profiles and reviews on our website.
Where is Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP located?
Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP is located at 1564, 1333 New Hampshire Ave NW, Washington, DC 20036, United States. You can reach out to Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP using their phone line 202.887.4216. You can also check their website or email them at [email protected].
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Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP
New Hampshire Avenue Northwest 1333
Washington 20036 DC US
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