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Press Release



Secretary Jewell Commends President’s Intent to Nominate Jonodev Osceola Chaudhuri as Chair of National Indian Gaming Commission



07/22/2014



WASHINGTON – Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell today applauded President Obama’s intent to nominate Jonodev Osceola Chaudhuri to be the chair of the National Indian Gaming Commission, the federal agency tasked with collaborating with tribes and states to regulate Indian gaming.

“Jonodev brings a wealth of legal expertise and administrative and policy experience to this position, having served on the National Indian Gaming Commission, in tribal government and private practice Indian law,” said Jewell. “His broad perspective on American Indian affairs makes him a highly qualified candidate as commission chair where he will provide strong strategic leadership as the commission tackles the complex issues associated with supporting economic opportunities for Indian nations.”

The National Indian Gaming Commission is committed to the prompt and efficient regulation of the Indian gaming industry, which spans more than 420 gaming establishments, associated with nearly 240 tribes across 28 states. The Commission’s dedication to compliance with the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act ensures the integrity of the $27 billion Indian gaming industry.

Jonodev Osceola Chaudhuri is currently Vice Chairman and Associate Commissioner of the National Indian Gaming Commission (NIGC), positions he has held since 2013. He also served as Acting Chairman of the NIGC from 2013 to April 2014. Prior to this position, Mr. Chaudhuri was Senior Counselor to the Assistant Secretary for Indian Affairs at the Department of the Interior from 2012 to 2013. He served as an Associate Judge on the Puyallup Tribe of Nations Court from 2011 to 2012, an Appellate Judge on the San Manuel Mission Band of Indians Appeals Court from 2009 to 2012 and an Appellate Judge on the Muscogee (Creek) Nation Supreme Court from 2006 to 2012.  

Previously, he served as a Deputy Public Defender in the Maricopa County Public Defender’s Office from 2010 to 2011 and as Managing Attorney at the Chaudhuri Law Office, P.L.L.C. from 2006 to 2010. Mr. Chaudhuri also held Appellate Judge Appointments on the Gila River Indian Community Court of Appeals from 2008 to 2010 and on the Yavapai-Apache Nation Court of Appeals from 2005 to 2009. From 2001 to 2006, he served as an Associate at Snell & Wilmer, L.L.P. Prior to this, he served as a judicial clerk for the Honorable Noel Fidel on the Arizona Court of Appeals from 2000 to 2001 and a Judicial Clerk for the Honorable James Ackerman on the Arizona Court of Appeals from 1999 to 2000. Mr. Chaudhuri received a B.A. from Dartmouth College and a J.D. from Cornell Law School.

The NIGC was established by the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act of 1988 and comprises a chair and two commissioners, each of whom serves on a full-time basis for a three-year term. By law, at least two of the three commissioners must be enrolled members of a federally recognized Indian tribe, and no more than two members may be of the same political party. The chair is appointed by the President and must be confirmed by the Senate. The Secretary of the Interior appoints the other two commissioners. The NIGC is authorized to conduct investigations; undertake enforcement actions, including the issuance of notices of violation, assessment of civil fines and/or issuance of closure orders; conduct background investigations; conduct audits; and review and approve tribal gaming ordinances. For more information, visit www.nigc.gov.