Colby Duren, J.D.


Colby is the Director of the Indigenous Food and Agriculture Initiative at the University of Arkansas – Office of Economic Development (IFAI). He previously served as Policy Director and Staff Attorney for IFAI since 2017. Colby has over 11 years of experience in federal Indian law and policy, with a specific focus on food, agriculture, nutrition, natural resources, and economic development, which includes work on three Farm Bills.

Prior to joining the Initiative, Colby served as Staff Attorney and Legislative Counsel for the National Congress of American Indians (NCAI) in Washington, DC, advocating on behalf of Tribal Nations on land, natural resources, and agriculture issues. He previously was a Legal Assistant for the Native American Rights Fund (NARF) Washington, DC office, and a Paralegal and Legislative Assistant at a Washington, DC law firm specializing in food and agriculture, and represented Tribes on land reparation and agriculture issues.

Colby earned his law degree from the American University Washington College of Law in Washington, DC, his Bachelor of Arts from Vassar College in Poughkeepsie, NY, and is a student in the University of Arkansas School of Law Agricultural and Food Law LL.M. Program. He is licensed to practice in Maryland, the District of Columbia, the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, and the Supreme Court of the United States.

In 2016, Colby was nominated by the Native American Bar Association of Washington, DC for its Significant Contribution in Indian Law Award for his work on environmental issues in Indian Country, and he was also recognized by the Intertribal Agriculture Council membership in December 2018 for his work supporting Tribal governments and Tribal producers in the development of the 2018 Farm Bill.