Katosha Nakai is the founder and owner of Tribal Policy People, LLC, focusing on tribal policy work across Indian Country. She represents tribal interests and those doing business with tribes. Additionally, Ms. Nakai is an attorney who leads the Phoenix office of Tucson based Strickland & Strickland, P.C. where she represents tribal interests primarily in the areas of water, natural resources and environmental law. Prior to joining Strickland & Strickland, Ms. Nakai served eight years with the Central Arizona Project (CAP) which delivers Colorado River Water to central and Southern Arizona. During her time there she was the Manager of Stakeholder Relations & Strategic Development leading CAP’s outreach activities across its diverse stakeholder groups including Municipal & Industrial, Tribal and Agricultural water users and managing strategic planning development, implementation, and tracking.
Ms. Nakai has served Governors in both Republican and Democrat administrations, working as a Policy Advisor to Arizona Governor Jan Brewer providing advisement on energy, broadband, and tribal affairs and serving as chair Arizona’s Climate Change Oversight Group, and as a member of Arizona's Homeland Security Senior Advisory Committee. She also was appointed by former Governor Janet Napolitano as a Commissioner of the Arizona Oil & Gas Conservation Commission. Before her state service, Ms. Nakai practiced law at a large Phoenix firm and served as a law clerk to the Chief Judge the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, the largest federal appeals court in the country, which hears the vast majority of the nation’s Indian law cases. Ms. Nakai, earned both her Juris Doctorate and her Indian Law Certificate from the Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law at Arizona State University and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Mass Communications from Oklahoma City University. She is a member of the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma.