Key Experience

  • Leads the American Indian law and policy group.
  • Former co-leader of the public law and policy practice.
  • Focuses on U.S. domestic policy issues and those related to Sub-Saharan Africa.


Donald Pongrace provides strategic advice and advocates on behalf of tribal groups, governments and corporations. He has been involved in significant policy issues around the world, and  he currently focuses his attention on policy issues relating to Sub-Saharan Africa and U.S. domestic policy issues at the federal, state and tribal levels, providing strategic advice to, and advocacy primarily on behalf of, tribal governments and tribal groups.

Representative Work

  • Lead counsel for tribe in Colorado River basin drought contingency plan, including developing overall Arizona drought plan and negotiating tribe’s role in it.
  • Lead counsel for tribe in innovative federal funding for BIE school through a lease back arrangement, which provided accelerated funding and construction and will serve as model for other federal Indian infrastructure and construction projects.
  • Counsel to foreign candidate for president of the Democratic Republic of Congo, seeking U.S. support for free and fair elections there.
  • Lead counsel to California tribe in implementation of its congressionally approved Indian water rights settlement, including obtaining court approvals and meeting other conditions of enforceability.
  • Lead counsel for tribe seeking congressional approval of tribal trust accounting claim, which included congressional approval of all federal undocumented rights-of-way on reservation, the payment of damages and the addition of 3600 acres of new reservation lands to the tribe’s reservation.