If confirmed, Stevens would fill out the three-member NIGC, which has been operating in a time of transition during the entire Obama administration.
Interestingly, Stevens (like Daniel Little, another recent appointee; see our prior post on him) is not a lawyer. While not a formal qualification for the job of NIGC Chair, many Commission members have been attorneys, and with good reason. The intricacies of statutory interpretation and regulation traditionally are the province of lawyers, and there's no doubt that the law governing tribal gaming is complex. Some industry insiders already have suggested Stevens may not have the needed skill set, while others have praised her.
In the area of tribal gaming regulation, however, many of the key players bring with them a set of experiences that do not come from book learning or even legal practice alone. Stevens' political skills and experience as the Tulalip Resort Casino no doubt will serve her well.
Ultimately, interpersonal skills, political savvy, and a knack for negotiating the complex relationship among tribal, state, federal, and local interests are the keys to a successful tenure as NIGC Chair.
What do you think? Will Stevens be successful?
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