George Skibine ('77) Named Interim Chair of NIGC
OCTOBER 5, 2009—George T. Skibine ('77) begins his new responsibilities as interim chair of the National Indian Gaming Commission (NIGC) today. He will hold the post until President Barack Obama appoints a permanent replacement for the retiring chair, Philip N. Hogen.
Skibine, a member of the Osage Nation of Oklahoma, has been Deputy Assistant Secretary in the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) since 2004 and will continue in that position. He also has been serving as Director of the Office of Indian Gaming but has recused himself from that office during his interim position with the NIGC.
Skibine has served in various roles within the U.S. Department of the Interior for more than 30 years, several of them relating to indigenous issues. Between May 2008 and May 2009, he served as temporary Assistant Secretary of the BIA pending the permanent appointment of Larry EchoHawk.
The NIGC is a regulatory agency of the Interior Department that oversees gaming activities, revenues, and influences on Indian lands. It consists of a chair, appointed by the President and confirmed by the Senate, and two commissioners appointed by the Secretary of the Interior. Law School alumnus Tadd Johnson ('85) served as NIGC chair from September 1997 to October 1998.