Indian American Jonodev Chaudhuri Steps Down as Chairman of National Indian Gaming Commission

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Indian American Jonodev Chaudhuri Steps Down as Chairman of National Indian Gaming Commission

Jonodev Osceola Chaudhuri is stepping down as chairman of the National Indian Gaming Commission, the commission announced in an April 24 news release.

“It has been the honor of my lifetime to serve Indian country and the general public in my capacity as chairman, a role I have had the pleasure of fulfilling since 2013. During my time as chairman, the Commission worked hard at every turn to stress strong partnerships and consistent communication with tribal gaming operations to achieve compliance with the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act. The Commission works with tribes to ensure they have the tools necessary to effectively regulate their operations and meet IGRA’s requirements,” Chaudhuri, who will officially step down from his post May 15, said in a statement.

Chaudhuri was sworn into the post in May 2015 (see India-West article here: https://bit.ly/2vq9WJi).

“As I reflect on the initiatives of NIGC during my time at NIGC, we have been able to protect the integrity of Indian gaming, expand outreach, and develop new services that support gaming operations and its staff.”

Under the leadership of chairman Chaudhuri, the agency took great strides in ensuring the Indian Gaming industry remained well regulated and that Tribes were the beneficiaries of their gaming, NIGC said.

The agency’s approach to regulation under Chaudhuri’s leadership is best articulated in his initiatives laid out in the NIGC’s 2018-2022 Strategic Plan, it said.

One of NIGC’s initiatives – protecting against gamesmanship on the backs of tribes – emphasizes uncovering non-tribal entities’ manipulation of business, professional, and employment relationships with Indian gaming operations to further their own interests at the expense of the tribal gaming operation, the tribe, and tribal members.

Another initiative focuses on developing effective outreach for tribes with small and rural gaming operations. In 2015, NIGC hired a Rural Outreach Coordinator to help address this concern. NIGC has also implemented virtual training sessions at NIGC Regional Training Courses and promotes site-specific training by tribal request.

Under Chaudhuri’s leadership, the commission also strove to stay ahead of the technology curve, according to the NIGC.

The commission understands that gaming technology continues to evolve, and so do threats to gaming integrity. Thus, in March 2015, NIGC created the Technology Division, which oversees the Agency’s information technology, records management, technology related training and assessments, including our Regulating Technology Course and IT Vulnerability Assessments, according to the news release.



Finally, our initiative to maintain a strong workforce within NIGC and with our tribal regulatory partners has generated a collaborative workforce that effectively serves IGRA’s fundamental purposes of promoting tribal self-determination and economic development, it said.

As of 2019, the agency now trains more regulators than ever before. And internally, just this last year, the NIGC ranked highest in gains in employee satisfaction among all federal agencies and departments of 100 employees or more, the release said.

As the chairman’s last day with the agency approaches, he remains committed to a smooth transition.

Beginning May 16, Vice Chair Isom-Clause will take over day-to-day operation of the agency.

“I sincerely appreciate having had the opportunity to work at NIGC. I would like to thank my fellow Commissioners, the hard-working NIGC staff, and Indian country for the support, guidance, and encouragement provided to me during my time at NIGC. Even though I will deeply miss my colleagues and time serving as the chairman, I am looking forward to starting a new phase of my career,” said Chaudhuri.

Chaudhuri is from Tempe, Arizona. His father, Joyotpaul Chaudhuri, who was born in India, was a college professor, and his late mother, Jean, was from the Muscogee (Creek) Nation.

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