NTAA: About Us

NTAA Policy Advisory Committee

Members of the NTAA’s Policy Advisory Committee talk with attendees of the 2016 National Tribal Forum on Air Quality
Members of the NTAA’s Policy Advisory Committee talk with attendees of the 2016 National Tribal Forum on Air Quality

NTAA's Policy Advisory Committee enhances and strengthens NTAA's air quality policy support by crafting air policy and climate change policy recommendations for Tribal governments and providing policy advice to the NTAA Executive Committee. The technical and policy experts work with the NTAA Executive Committee and NTAA staff to craft Policy Response Kits, White Papers and other policy support.

The NTAA Policy Advisory Committee

Ann Marie Chischilly

Ann Marie Chischilly Ms. Chischilly is the Executive Director at the Institute for Tribal Environmental Professionals (ITEP). She is responsible for managing ITEP's work with Northern Arizona University, state and federal agencies, tribes and Alaska Native villages. In 2017, ITEP celebrated 25 years serving over 95% of all the 573 Tribes and Alaskan Native Villages nationwide.

Ms. Chischilly currently serves on several federal advisory committees including the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) National Advisory Committee, the Advisory Committee for the Sustained National Climate Assessment (Now the Independent Advisory Committee on the Sustained National Climate Assessment) and EPA’s National Safe Drinking Water Council. From 2013 to 2015, Ms. Chischilly also served on Department of Interior’s Advisory on Climate Change and Natural Resource Science.

Ms. Chischilly speaks both nationally and internationally on topics of Indian Law, Environmental Law, Tradition Knowledges, Water Law and Tribes/Indigenous Peoples. She works with the United Nations on issues of the Protection of Traditional Knowledge and co-wrote, “Guidelines for the Use of Traditional Knowledge in Climate Change Initiatives”.

Before coming to ITEP, she served for over ten years as Senior Assistant General Counsel to the Gila River Indian Community (Community), where she assisted the Community in implementing the historic “Arizona Water Settlement Act” and founded the Community’s Renewable Energy Team. Ms. Chischilly is an enrolled member of the Navajo Nation (Diné). She earned her Juris Doctorate degree from St. Mary's University School of Law and a Masters in Environmental Law (LL.M) from Vermont Law School. She is licensed in Arizona and has practiced in state, district, and federal courts. She is also a member of the International Bar Association.

Dr. David LaRoche

Dr. David LaRoche Over 30 years of experience working with US EPA. Dr. LaRoche was the senior Indian Program Manager for EPA OAR, and lead author of the EPA CAA Tribal Authority Rule. Dr. LaRoche’s currently serves on the Board of Directors for the Institute for Tribal Environmental Professionals and has many years of knowledge working with EPA and tribes on air quality policy and programmatic issues.

Pilar Thomas

Pilar Thomas Pilar Thomas (Pascua Yaqui) is Of Counsel at Lewis Roca Rothgerber Christie LLP in Tucson Arizona, where she provides strategic legal advice to tribal governments and tribal enterprises on energy planning and policy, renewable energy project development and finance; federal and state energy regulatory, programs and policy efforts. Ms. Thomas previously served as the Deputy Director, Office of Indian Energy Policy and Programs at the U.S. Department of Energy, where she developed and implemented national policy and programs to promote clean energy development on Indian lands. Ms. Thomas also served as the Deputy Solicitor for Indian Affairs in the U.S. Department of the Interior, where she provided day to day legal advice and counsel to the Secretary, the Assistant Secretary for Indian Affairs, and other officials of the Department on matters related to federal Indian law, tribal law, and legal issues involving Indian tribes. Over the course of her career as an attorney, Ms. Thomas was interim attorney general and chief of staff of the Pascua Yaqui Tribe, and a Trial Attorney in the U.S. Department of Justice.

Prior to her law practice, Ms. Thomas worked for fifteen years in the financial services industry for a Fortune 250 company. Ms. Thomas received her J.D. from the University of New Mexico School of Law, magna cum laude, with a Certificate in Indian Law, and her B.A. in economics from Stanford University.

Dr. Garrit Voggesser

Dr. Garrit Voggesser As the Director of the National Wildlife Federation’s Tribal Partnership Program, Dr. Voggesser has worked with NWF for 12 years, engaging tribes in environmental conservation across the country. He works on a wide area of climate change policy and adaptation, ecosystem protection, and other conservation issues. He has worked closely with tribes and tribal organizations to examine federal climate legislation and ensure equitable resources and support for tribes, secure increased federal appropriations for tribal conservation and climate adaptation efforts, and participated in a broad array of federal climate efforts, including serving as co-author of the tribal chapter for the National Climate Assessment. Dr. Voggesser received a Ph.D. in American Indian and environmental history from the University of Oklahoma in 2004.

Hilary Thompkins

Hilary Thompkins A proud member of the Navajo Nation, Hilary Thompkins is the first Native American to serve from 2009 to 2017 in the presidentially appointed, Senate-confirmed position of Solicitor for the U.S. Department of the Interior (DOI) – the agency responsible for the management and conservation of public lands, natural and wildlife resource programs, and the trustee for Native American tribes. In that role, she led over 300 attorneys in 16 offices nationwide and acquired significant experience in onshore and offshore energy development (conventional and renewable), the administration of federal water projects, conservation and wildlife legal requirements, and public land law. Hilary C. Tompkins has expansive experience in the public sector at the tribal, state, and federal level. She is currently a partner with the law firm of Hogan Lovells in Washington DC.

Brandon Sousa

Brandon Sousa Brandon Sousa is an attorney with Jill Grant & Associates in Washington, DC, where his practice serves tribal governments in all aspects of environmental law, including the Clean Air Act, Clean Water Act, CERCLA, RCRA, and the Safe Drinking Water Act. He counsels tribal governments on developing their environmental legal systems and attaining primary enforcement authority from the federal government, and supports other efforts to promote tribal sovereignty, including litigation. Prior to joining Jill Grant & Associates, he worked for the National Ocean and Atmospheric Administration’s National Marine Fisheries Service in that agency’s leadership office and the Office of Protected Resources. There, among other tasks, he coordinated national environmental regulatory and permitting programs, interagency consultation and rulemaking deliberations, and Congressional and constituent affairs. Mr. Sousa served as a judicial clerk to the Honorable Mary Ellen Barbera, Chief Judge of the Maryland Court of Appeals, and holds a J.D. from Tulane University, summa cum laude, with a Certificate in Environmental Law.