Debjani Desai

Debjani D. Desai is the General Counsel for the Illinois Office of Comptroller. She leads a team of lawyers in Chicago and Springfield to provide legal counsel on state comptroller mandates, such as ordering payments through the treasury, managing the state’s fiscal accounts, and conducting audits and reports on the state’s fiscal health. She advises the office on litigation, legislation, finance, operations, compliance, and labor and employment matters. In prior roles, she served as an Administrative Law Judge, presiding over Medicaid and child support appeals. She also managed state and federal litigation for the state Medicaid agency, serving elderly, disabled, and indigent populations. In addition, she formerly advocated for victims as a prosecutor of financial crimes and public corruption, juvenile justice, and civil actions.

Debjani sits in leadership positions for various bar associations and community organizations that promote diversity, inclusion, and equity. She is President of the South Asian Bar Association of Chicago’s Foundation, a SABA Advisory Council member, and a SABA North America Leadership Institute participant. She is also a junior board member of the Chicago Lighthouse. She has previously served as President of the South Asian Bar Association of Chicago and Board Member of the Asian American Bar Association of Greater Chicago.

Outside of her role as General Counsel, Debjani serves as a Special Prosecutor in child protection cases in juvenile court. She is an adjunct professor teaching Counseling and Negotiations at UIC Law, and frequently assists as a mock trial coach for high schools and colleges. Debjani is a 2022 CBA Vanguard Award recipient.