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National Indian Gaming Commission Announces Sharon Avery as Acting Chair

Sharon M. Avery (Saginaw Chippewa Tribe) has been appointed acting chair of the National Indian Gaming Commission, the agency announced on Thursday. The appointment became effective on May 15, 2024. 

Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland (Laguna Pueblo) recently appointed Avery to a three-year term as associate commissioner, effective May 6, 2024. Avery will serve both as associate commissioner and acting chair until a presidentially appointed, Senate-confirmed chair is in place.

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 As acting chair, Avery has the same statutory authority to lead the National Indian Gaming Commission and take official action as a Senate-confirmed appointee.

“I am humbled the administration has entrusted me with the distinguished opportunity to serve as the NIGC Acting Chair,”  Avery said in a statement. “In this capacity, and to the best of my abilities, I will diligently execute my duties and responsibilities designated by the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act to continue the Agency’s regulatory oversight of tribal gaming facilities without disruption, until a permanent Chair has been confirmed.” 

For more than four years, Avery has served as an Associate General Counsel in the NIGC Office of General Counsel. Prior to joining the National Indian Gaming Commission, Avery worked in the Legal Department of her tribe for 10 years. She graduated from Michigan State University College of Law with a Juris Doctor degree and a certificate from the Indigenous Law and Policy Center. 

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