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Served for 10-plus years on Capitol Hill; played key role in most significant Indian affairs legislation over the last decade; former senior counsel and attorney general for Indian tribal governments

Adding one of the country’s top Indian law and policy attorneys in the U.S., Venable LLP announced that former Senate Indian Affairs Committee Minority Staff Director and Chief Counsel David Mullon has joined the firm as a counsel in its Washington office.

Mr. Mullon comes to Venable directly from having served as Chief Counsel at the National Congress of American Indians (NCAI), the oldest and largest national organization of American Indian and Alaska Native tribal governments.

At NCAI, Mr. Mullon worked on a wide range of legislative and administrative issues of importance to Indian Country, including the use and management of tribal trust lands for housing or commercial development, or for water, energy, and other natural resource development; federal regulatory initiatives within the Department of the Interior; federal taxation; and the need to modernize Federal laws governing tribal trust lands to better serve the tribes and their members.

David Mullon
David Mullon

Prior to NCAI, Mr. Mullon served for over ten years (2003-13) as a senior attorney on the US Senate Committee on Indian Affairs, where he rose to the position of Committee General Counsel and later Minority Staff Director and Chief Counsel. At the Committee he played key roles in drafting or passage of the American Indian Probate Reform Act; the Indian energy title (Title V) of the Energy Policy Act of 2005; parts of the Indian Health Care Improvement Act reauthorization and the Tribal Law and Order Act of 2010; and numerous Indian water settlement bills. During his time on the Committee staff, Mr. Mullon worked for Chairmen Ben Nighthorse Campbell and John McCain and Vice Chairmen Craig Thomas, Lisa Murkowski, and John Barrasso.

Before joining the Senate Committee, Mr. Mullon represented Indian tribes in the State of Oklahoma.  He served as director of the legal division of Cherokee Nation and subsequently as the Attorney General of the Muscogee (Creek) Nation. He represented these tribal governments in federal, state and tribal court venues as well as before several federal agencies. He also negotiated various compacts and agreements with the state and local governments. He is a member of the Cherokee Nation and Muscogee (Creek) Nation Bar Associations.

“The Senate Indian Affairs Committee is a primary driver of the key legislative actions directly impacting Native Americans. Between his time spent on Capitol Hill and his time working with or for tribal governments and organizations, David has contributed enormously to the welfare and advancement of tribal communities,” said Rob Smith, co-chair of Venable’s Legislative Group.  “His experience and knowledge adds an important component to our practice, given how broadly Indian affairs reaches across so many areas of law. His practice will particularly complement our energy, environmental and legislative practices.”

“After many years working within federal and tribal government settings, I wanted to have a chance to convert my experience into practice where I can advise Indian tribes and tribal enterprises,” Mr. Mullon said, “as well as companies interested in developing positive business or working relationships with tribal governments. At Venable, I’ll have benefit of one of the best government affairs platforms in the country, with professionals well accustomed to navigating regulatory agencies that heavily impact Indian communities, including the Departments of Interior, Health and Human Services, Environmental Protection Agency and others.  The firm also has an outstanding business transactions group, including its work with entrepreneurial companies.  I am thrilled at the opportunity that Venable provides to combine my Indian affairs background with a full-service practice.”

Mr. Mullon received his J.D. from the University of Tulsa College of Law.  He earned a Masters in International Management from the American Graduate School of International Management (now Thunderbird School of Global Management) in Glendale Arizona, and