Robert D. "Bobby Don" Gifford, II, was born on December 5, 1970, in Tulsa, OK, and grew up in rural Mannford, Oklahoma on the historic Greenwood Ranch as a ranch hand. An honors student and three-sport athlete, Gifford matriculated to Southwestern College in Winfield, KS where he continued to excel in both football and track and field, as well as graduating with honors in 1993. He attended law school at the University of Oklahoma where he served as an Editor on the American Indian Law Review and was a national officer in the Native American Law Student Association. A member of the Cherokee Nation and direct descendant of Chief Richard Fields, Gifford, clerked for the Cherokee Nation under Chief Wilma Mankiller and under then-future Chief Chadwick Smith before going on active duty as an active duty Army Judge Advocate (JAG) where he serve both in a combat zone and through the United States.
Upon leaving active duty, Gifford remained in the Army Reserves and became an Assistant United States Attorney for the U.S. Department of Justice where he worked Terrorism cases, Indian Country cases, and Human Trafficking cases. During this time, Gifford taught as an adjunct law professor for the law schools at the University of Oklahoma, Oklahoma City University, and the University of Arkansas. In addition he taught at the Army JAG School in Charlottesville, VA and at the DOJ National Advocacy Center in Columbia, SC for many years.
In 2007-08, "Major" Gifford was recalled to active duty as an Army JAG to Guantanamo Bay, Cuba to work on the War Crime cases of the 9/11 co-conspirators and those involved with the bombing of the U.S.S. Cole, and the U.S. Embassies in Kenya and Tanzia. Gifford left public service in 2016 to private practice to eventually start his own firm of GIFFORD LAW, PLLC in 2018, and he continues to serve in a part-time capacity as a tribal court judge for five different Native American tribes as either the Chief Judge or a Supreme Court Justice and has authored the Constitution for at least one tribe and written the tribal code for another.
Gifford was also a leader in the legal bar as well as the Chair of the Criminal Law Section of the Oklahoma Bar Association (2018), the Founder and twice-Chair of the Military & Veterans' Law Section of the Okla. Bar Association, and served three years on the Okla. Bar Association's Board of Governors. Gifford also served on the Executive Board for the Oklahoma County Bar Association, and has been a long time member of the American Bar Association, Federal Bar Association, and is a Life Time Member of the National Association of Criminal Defense Attorneys. He is widely recognized as an expert trial attorney and legal scholar.