Kyle E. Scherer

Partner
Kyle Scherer

Kyle Scherer is a partner in Venable’s Environmental and Natural Resources group and serves as co-chair of the firm’s Native American Law and Policy practice. He leverages significant experience working in the federal government under both Democratic and Republican administrations to counsel tribes, corporations, and state and local governments on matters involving energy and natural resource development, infrastructure, land use, and regulatory compliance. 

Prior to joining Venable, Kyle served as the principal deputy general counsel for the White House Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ). There, he helped implement and defend CEQ’s revised National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) regulations and coordinate the review of agency-specific NEPA rulemaking.

Kyle began his career in federal service at the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) as a White House Fellow and counsel to the associate attorney general. His portfolio included oversight of the Environment and Natural Resources Division, the Office of Justice Programs, and the Office of Tribal Justice. He was also responsible for advising DOJ leadership on issues affecting Puerto Rico, including its future political status and the bankruptcy-like protections of the Puerto Rico Oversight, Management, and Economic Stability Act (PROMESA).

In 2017, Kyle joined the U.S. Department of the Interior (DOI) as a counselor to the assistant secretary for Indian affairs. He was later appointed the deputy solicitor for Indian affairs and the acting deputy solicitor for parks and wildlife.  There, he concurrently led two of the largest divisions within the DOI Office of the Solicitor, managing over sixty career attorneys across seven practice areas.  In these roles, Kyle provided advice to the secretary of the interior and other administration officials on issues ranging from Indian gaming and tribal trust land acquisitions to Endangered Species Act (ESA) enforcement and national monument designations. During his tenure at DOI, Kyle represented the United States as senior agency counsel on nearly all significant Indian affairs litigation, including affirmative cases brought on behalf of tribes as federal trustee and appellate matters such as the constitutional defense of the Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA).  Notably, Kyle was further responsible for supporting the DOJ Office of the Solicitor General in more than ten cases before the U.S. Supreme Court, which, over four terms, considered matters involving the Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act (ANILCA), the ESA, Indian reservation boundary disputes, tribal sovereign immunity, and tribal treaty rights.

Kyle began his legal career working on the Navajo Nation as a staff attorney for DNA-People’s Legal Services, a nonprofit organization that provides access to justice for low-income Native Americans living in the Four Corners region of the United States. He then spent five years at an international law firm, where he advised clients on liability management and corporate finance transactions. Kyle is an army combat veteran with service in Afghanistan and Iraq.  He is an enrolled member of the Munsee Delaware Nation and is a descendent of the Chippewa of the Thames First Nation.

Experience

Government Experience

  • Principal Deputy General Counsel, White House Council on Environmental Quality
  • Deputy Solicitor for Indian Affairs, U.S. Department of the Interior
  • Senior Counselor to the Assistant Secretary for Indian Affairs, U.S. Department of the Interior
  • White House Fellow and Counsel, Office of the Associate Attorney General, U.S. Department of Justice
  • Commissioner,  Maryland Commission on Criminal Sentencing Policy

Insights

Credentials
+

Education

  • J.D. Harvard Law School 2009
  • B.A. Harvard College 2005

Bar Admissions

  • Admitted in New York only; Practicing under the supervision of Venable partners admitted to the DC Bar.

Court Admissions

  • U.S. Supreme Court
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces
  • U.S. Court of Federal Claims

Professional Memberships and Activities

  • Affiliate, Center for Arctic Policy Studies, University of Alaska Fairbanks
  • Chair, Native American Outreach, White House Fellows Foundation and Association
  • Member, Federal Bar Association (Indian Law Section)
  • Past director, Native American Alumni of Harvard University