Diandra D. Benally

Class of 2009

Diandra D. Benally is an Assistant General Counsel for the Fort McDowell Yavapai Nation in Fort McDowell, Arizona. Her current practice encompasses civil litigation, tribal law, Federal Indian Law, water law and environmental law. Previously, Ms. Benally worked for the Navajo Nation Department of Justice, where she served as the staff attorney for the Navajo Nation Division of Health made up of more than 1,000 employees. She was instrumental in assisting the Navajo Division of Health in a number of health care initiatives such as with the reauthorization of the Indian Health Care Improvement Act and the Special Diabetes Projects for Indian tribes, the Executive Order for emergency preparedness programs in Indian country, governmental agreements and contracts with New Mexico and Arizona on Indian healthcare and Medicaid/Medicare reform and reform of federal regulations and policies on human research.
 
Ms. Benally received her bachelor’s degree in Native American Studies from Dartmouth College, a master’s in Environmental Law from Vermont Law School and her J.D. with an Indian Law Certificate from the Sandra Day O’Connor School of Law at Arizona State University. She is the recipient of the 2007 Outstanding Young Lawyer of the Year Award from the New Mexico Bar Association and a 2006-2007 Americans For Indian Opportunity (AIO) Ambassador.  She is admitted to practice in Arizona, New Mexico and before the Navajo Nation Courts and the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals. She is a member of the American Bar Association and on the board of directors for several organizations serving Native American communities such as the DNA Legal Services, Inc. Ms. Benally is also an adjunct professor at Diné College, the first tribally-controlled college, teaching courses on the U.S. and Arizona Constitution and mentoring students of all ages. She is originally from Shiprock, New Mexico and a member of the Navajo Nation.  
 

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