Commissioner Biographies

NIGC Chair Jonodev Osceola Chaudhuri

NIGC Chair Jonodev Osceola Chaudhuri

September 2013 to Present

Jonodev Osceola Chaudhuri (Muscogee (Creek)) is Chair of the National Indian Gaming Commission (NIGC). The NIGC is the primary federal agency responsible for regulating and ensuring the integrity of the $28 billion Indian gaming industry, consisting of more than 450 Indian gaming facilities, associated with nearly 242 tribes across 28 states. Chair Chaudhuri brings to the NIGC extensive policy, legal, and judicial experience and a lifelong commitment to serving the Native American community. His varied experiences each stem from his understanding of the connection between the development of strong governmental institutions and Native American self-determination.

Prior to his designation as Acting Chair by President Obama in October 2013, he served as Associate Commissioner and Vice Chair. Chair Chaudhuri was initially appointed to the Commission by the Secretary of Interior in September of 2013. Prior to joining the NIGC, Chair Chaudhuri was Senior Counselor to the Department of the Interior’s Assistant Secretary for Indian Affairs, where he provided guidance and assistance on a wide range of national policy issues, including Indian gaming, economic development, energy, Alaska affairs, and tribal recognition.

He has practiced law for over a decade, primarily in private practice serving tribes and tribal entities. Additionally, Chair Chaudhuri has served as a judge on five different tribal courts, including serving his tribe as Chief Justice of the Muscogee (Creek) Nation Supreme Court. Chair Chaudhuri’s professional background also includes work as a community organizer, adjunct professor, and author.

Chair Chaudhuri graduated with a bachelor’s of arts degree from Dartmouth College, N.H. and a J.D. from Cornell Law School, N.Y.

NIGC Vice Chair Kathryn Isom-Clause

NIGC Vice Chair Kathryn Isom-Clause

Kathryn Isom-Clause (Taos Pueblo) is the Vice Chair of the National Indian Gaming Commission. As such, she is one of three commissioners responsible for regulating and ensuring the integrity of the more than 450 Indian gaming facilities, associated with nearly 242 tribes across 28 states. Isom-Clause was appointed by the Secretary of Interior on March 14, 2016 for a three-year term.

Prior to joining the NIGC, Isom-Clause served as a senior counselor to the Assistant Secretary – Indian Affairs at the U.S. Department of the Interior. In this position, she advised the Assistant Secretary on Indian gaming matters, including tribal-state gaming compacts, environmental compliance issues and revenue allocation plans. She also chaired interagency working groups on sacred sites and homelessness, and coordinated listening sessions and roundtables with tribal stakeholders. In addition, her portfolio included the restoration and protection of tribal homelands. Prior to joining the federal government, Isom-Clause provided legal advice and representation to tribal clients on a wide range of federal Indian law and policy issues important to Indian Country.

Isom-Clause graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree from Wellesley College, Mass. and received her juris doctor from Columbia University School of Law, N.Y.

Associate Commissioner E. Sequoyah Simermeyer (Coharie)

Associate Commissioner E. Sequoyah Simermeyer (Coharie)

November 2015 to Present

E. Sequoyah Simermeyer (Coharie) is the Associate Commissioner of the National Indian Gaming Commission. As such, he is one of three commissioners responsible for regulating and ensuring the integrity of the more than 450 Indian gaming facilities, associated with nearly 242 tribes across 28 states. Simermeyer was appointed by the Secretary of Interior on November 2, 2015 for a three-year term.

Prior to joining the NIGC, Simermeyer advised the Chairman to the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs. In that capacity he helped draft legislative proposals and committee reports, prepared oversight and legislative hearing and advanced the committee’s work on priority issues facing Indian country. Simermeyer also served as Deputy Chief of Staff and as counselor to the Department of the Interior’s Assistant Secretary for Indian Affairs.

Simermeyer’s professional and academic experience has focused on government-to-government relationships that impact federal Indian policy and which empower tribal communities to provide for their people. Simermeyer was named to the National Center for American Indian Enterprise Development’s 40 Under 40 list in 2011 and was a 2014 nominee for the Native American Bar Association–DC Chapter Award for “Excellence in Government Service.”

Simermeyer graduated with a bachelor’s of arts degree from Dartmouth College, N.H., a Masters of Study in Environmental Law from Vermont Law School, Vt., and a J.D. from Cornell Law School, N.Y.

Past commissioners

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