NIGC Chair Jonodev Osceola Chaudhuri
September 2013 to Present
Jonodev Osceola Chaudhuri (Muscogee (Creek)) was nominated by President Barack Obama and unanimously confirmed by the United States Senate in April, 2015. Prior to this, Chairman Chaudhuri was appointed to the Commission by Interior Secretary Sally Jewell, and served brief turns as Vice Chair and Associate Commissioner before being designated as Acting NIGC Chairman by the President in October 2013.
As the sixth presidentially appointed and Senate-confirmed Chair, Chairman 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.
Before joining the NIGC, Chairman 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, Alaskan affairs, and tribal recognition.
Chairman Chaudhuri has practiced law for more than 15 years, primarily in private practice representing tribal nations and commercial entities. Additionally, Chairman Chaudhuri served as a judge on five different tribal courts, including serving as Chief Justice of the Muscogee (Creek) Nation Supreme Court, the highest court of the fourth largest tribe in the Nation. Chairman Chaudhuri’s professional background also includes service as a community organizer, adjunct professor, public defender, legal services director, and author.
Originally from Tempe, Arizona, but very much tied to his family roots in Oklahoma, Chairman Chaudhuri graduated in 1993 with a B.A. from Dartmouth College and a J.D. from Cornell Law School in 1999. Chairman Chaudhuri’s volunteer and lifetime service has been spent on many issues regarding underrepresented communities