For Immediate Release
Contact: Shawn Pensoneau
The NIGC Welcomes New Commissioner
Washington, DC January 13, 2010 —
Steffani A. Cochran began her three-year term as Commissioner of the National Indian Gaming Commission on January 4, 2010. Ms. Cochran joins George Skibine, Acting Chairman, and Norm DesRosiers, Vice-Chairman. She fills a position vacant since December of 2007.
The Commission is a three-member panel. The Chairman is nominated by the President and confirmed by the United States Senate. Two Commissioners are appointed by the Secretary of the Interior. Ms. Cochran was nominated by Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar on October 12, 2009.
For over a decade, Ms. Cochran has built an exceptional understanding of Indian law by serving in high-level positions throughout Indian country, such as Special Counsel for Indian Affairs in the New Mexico Attorney General’s Office and her previous role as General Counsel for the Pueblo of Pojoaque.
Cochran is eager to begin her role in the regulation of Indian gaming and to promote the integrity of the growing industry. Cochran commented, “My career as a public servant has included work for tribal and state governments, so this will be my first opportunity to serve the federal government. Gaming is unquestionably a vital component of tribal economies, which is one reason that I am so excited about this opportunity.”
Ms. Cochran is an enrolled member of the Chickasaw Nation of Oklahoma. She received her Bachelor of Science from Oklahoma State University, her Masters in Public Administration from George Mason University, and her Juris Doctorate from American University.
The NIGC is an independent regulatory agency established within the Department of the Interior pursuant to the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act of 1988.