Van Ness Feldman Welcomes Back Jaeleen Kookesh as Senior Counsel

May 15, 2024

Washington, DC — May 15, 2024 — Van Ness Feldman LLP is pleased to announce that Jaeleen Kookesh has rejoined the firm as Senior Counsel in our Native Affairs practice. With an impressive career in native community advocacy and corporate leadership, Kookesh brings unparalleled expertise in legislative, regulatory, litigation, and transactional matters affecting Native communities, their businesses, stakeholders, and partners. She previously served clients at Van Ness Feldman from 1998 to 2008.

Kookesh previously held several prominent roles at Sealaska Corporation, a regional Alaska Native Corporation with over 25,000 Native shareholders. Her leadership roles at Sealaska included Vice President and General Counsel, Vice President for Policy & Legal Affairs, and Corporate Secretary. In these positions, she directed legal strategies across a variety of business sectors including Water Resources, Natural Foods, and Lands. Kookesh also worked closely with Tribal Governments, Alaska Native Corporations, the Alaska Federation of Natives, and other community organizations throughout the region.

A highly respected leader known for her legal and policy acumen, Kookesh's deep connections within Alaska Native communities and organizations strengthen Van Ness Feldman’s mission to provide comprehensive and effective representation to Alaska Native and Native American communities.

“We are excited to welcome Jaeleen back to the VNF team,” said Andrew VanderJack, Coordinator of the firm’s Native Affairs practice. “Her extensive legal experience and leadership at Sealaska, along with her deep-rooted commitment to and advocacy on behalf of Native American communities, will be invaluable to our clients across a range of legislative, regulatory, and business matters.”

Kookesh grew up in Angoon, Alaska, on Admiralty Island, and carries two Tlingit clan names from the L’eeneidí (Dog Salmon) Central house: Kajoohein and Kinagoo.ut. She is a child of the Teikweidí (Brown Bear) Clan. She is also Koyukon Athabascan.

Jaeleen holds a J.D., from the University of New Mexico, with a Certificate in Indian Law, and a B.A. from Stanford University.   She can be reached at 206-802-3854 or


Van Ness Feldman LLP is a nationally recognized law firm specializing in energy, environment, and natural resources law. The firm serves clients ranging from native communities and governments to corporations and non-profit organizations, providing comprehensive legal services across a variety of practice areas.

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