Donald M. Ragona
Director of Development and House Counsel Native American Rights Fund
Donald M. Ragona (Matinecock) is the Native American Rights Fund’s (NARF’s) director of development and house counsel. Ragona is a graduate of Pepperdine University School of Law and did his undergraduate studies at Long Island University, C.W. Post College. Soon after graduating law school, he accepted a position with Merrill Lynch as a tax investment attorney specializing in structuring investment partnerships. After a good run on Wall Street, Ragona accepted a position with Allstate Insurance Company, which allowed him to move to Colorado to be closer to family. He joined the Native American Rights Fund in 1993. He was later named NARF’s director of development and house counsel. In 2009, he went into private practice advising tribes and tribal businesses in South Dakota and New York, as well as private clients in Colorado, on a variety of matters. In 2013, he returned to NARF and was again appointed director of development and house counsel.
Ragona currently sits on the board of directors for the National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy. He has also served on the boards of the National Indian Prisoners Support Group in Minneapolis, Minnesota, and the Four Winds American Indian Council in Denver, Colorado. He was also a member of the NARF-sponsored American Indian Religious Freedom Act Coalition, where he wrote both state and federal legislation advocating for American Indian prisoners to be able to practice their traditional spirituality while incarcerated. Additionally, Ragona is a frequent presenter on federal Indian law and Indian issues at academic institutions as well as national and regional Native conferences.