Senate nears confirmation as new head of gaming commission

E. Sequoyah Simermeyer was counsel to Sen. John Barrasso, R-Wyoming.

E. Sequoyah Simermeyer, Coharie, has been approved for confirmation by the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs to serve as the next chairman of the National Indian Gaming Commission.

Next step: Wait for the full Senate’s report on Simermeyer’s nomination, followed by a formal confirmation vote.

President Donald J. Trump appointed Simermeyer on June 25.

Simermeyer is currently the associate commissioner of the agency and has been since 2015.

Before the agency, he was counsel for Sen. John Barrasso, R-Wyoming, for a year.

Simermeyer has held various jobs in Indian Affairs which include the acting director of the Office of Facilities, Environmental and Cultural Resources, deputy chief of staff for the assistant secretary, and counselor for the assistant secretary.

Part of his legal experience comes from his internships with the Superior Court in the District of Columbia and at the National Congress of American Indians.

Jonodev Osceola Chaudhuri, Muscogee (Creek) Nation, served as the chairman before resigning from his position in May. Chaudhuri was appointed to lead the agency in 2013 by former President Barack Obama.

“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,” Chaudhuri said.

(ICYMI: Chairman Jonodev Chaudhuri announces departure from National Indian Gaming Commission)

If Simermeyer is confirmed by the Senate, he will be the seventh appointed commission chair and the tenth commission chair since the agency’s establishment in 1988. 

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Jourdan Bennett-Begaye, Diné, is a reporter/producer for Indian Country Today in Washington, D.C. Follow her on Twitter: @jourdanbb. Email: jbennett-begaye@indiancountrytoday.com

Indian Country Today, LLC., is a non-profit news organization owned by the non-profit arm of the The National Congress of American Indians. The Indian Country Today editorial team operates independently.

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