Christopher Clark Deschene

Former Director, Office of Indian Energy Policy and Programs

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Christopher Clark Deschene (Navajo Nation) is a former director of the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Indian Energy. Mr. Deschene has more than 20 years of management and policy experience, along with extensive tribal relationships and deep expertise in business and energy development, natural resources, and environmental policies, federal Indian law, and government affairs.  


He played a crucial role providing advice and support to the Secretary, Deputy Secretary, Under Secretary for Science and Energy and program offices across the DOE complex to help fulfill the Department's mission of advancing the national, economic, and energy security of the United States through scientific and technological innovation.


Mr. Deschene is well regarded with tribal, state, and federal policy leaders and professionals, as well as industry and business leaders.  Prior to this appointment, he spent 10 years as a partner with the Law Offices of Schaff & Clark Deschene, LLC.  His experience extends to business and energy development on tribal, state, and federal lands.  He has extensive knowledge of power generation, transmission, distribution, renewable energy development, oil and gas development, utility formation, water, natural resource, energy and environmental policy development, tribal and federal administrative and regulatory permitting, energy contracting and negotiations.  His practice has taken him across the United States and throughout Indian Country. 


Previously, Mr. Deschene served with the U.S. Marine Corps as an infantry and reconnaissance officer and completed his service as a Major in the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve.  He has served with distinction and completed two tours in the Persian Gulf, first with the infantry and second, with reconnaissance units.  While on active duty, Mr. Deschene also served as a military research engineer with Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory.


Chris received a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering from the United States Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland and a Master of Science and Engineering in Mechanical Engineering from Arizona State University in Tempe, Arizona.  Concurrent with his master’s studies, Mr. Deschene earned a Juris Doctorate with a focus on federal Indian law and energy and natural resources law from Arizona State University.  Mr. Deschene is licensed to practice law in Arizona and the Navajo Nation.

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