Tulalip's Stevens nominated to chair National Indian Gaming Commission

TULALIP — Tulalip Tribal member Tracie Stevens has been nominated by President Barack Obama to chair the National Indian Gaming Commission.

Stevens was hired in July of 2009 as the senior adviser to the Assistant U.S. Secretary of Indian Affairs. If her appointment is confirmed by the U.S. Senate, she'll chair a three-member panel that regulates Indian gambling activities.

In addition to her positions in marketing, operations and human resources, Stevens served as executive director of strategic planning for the Tulalip Resort Casino from 2001-2002, before her stint as as a legislative policy analyst from 2003-2006. The latter term included time spent working under state Rep. John McCoy in the Tulalip Tribes' government affairs office.

"I was her manager," McCoy said. "The work she did was excellent. The gaming arena was her main focus, and her depth of knowledge will make her an effective person in this new position. I would tell President Obama that he's made a very wise decision."

From 2006-2009, Stevens was a senior policy analyst with the Tribes' government affairs office, at the same time that she served as secretary of the Board of the Directors for the Washington Indian Gaming Association from 2002-2009, chair of the Gaming Subcommittee for the Affiliated Tribes of Northwest Indians from 2003-2009, and Northwest Delegate for the National Indian Gaming Association from 2003-2009.

Stevens represented the Tulalip Tribes in gambling compact negotiations between the state of Washington and all the federally recognized tribes within its borders, and also lobbied on behalf of tribe-related bills, including an unsuccessful 2005 attempt to retain millions in sales tax revenue from Quil Ceda Village for the Tulalip Tribes.

In her most recent role, Stevens has provided policy guidance to the Assistant Secretary regarding tribal issues such as gaming, law enforcement, energy, tribal consultation, economic development, land-into-trust, tribal government disputes, budget priorities, and treaty and natural resource rights. She has also been active in rebuilding the nation-to-nation relationship between tribes and the U.S. Department of Interior.

A date has not been set for a hearing of Stevens' nomination by the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs, which would precede any Senate vote to confirm her appointment.

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