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LAS VEGAS, Nev. — The William S. Boyd School of Law at the University of Nevada Las Vegas has appointed John Tahsuda and Jennifer Carleton as distinguished fellows to lead the law school’s Indian Nations Gaming and Governance Program.

Tahsuda, a member of the Kiowa Tribe of Oklahoma, and Carleton bring decades of experience advising and practicing before federal, state and tribal governments and agencies in developing and applying tribal gaming law, policy and regulations.  

Founded in 2020, UNLV’s Indian Nations Gaming and Governance Program is supported by a financial gift from the San Manuel Band of Mission Indians of California. The program provides specialized academic training in gaming, regulation, and governance for Indian nations for law students. Program faculty and leadership have extensive experience in education, gaming, federal Indian law, and tribal law and governance.

“I am very excited to work with the San Manuel Band of Mission Indians and the Boyd School of Law to establish the Indian Nations Gaming and Governance Program, and honored at the trust they have placed in us,” Tahsuda said in a statement. “I especially applaud the vision of the Tribe to set in place this foundational resource for the current and future generations of tribal lawyers.”

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Tahsuda served as principal with Navigators Global LLC, a full-service issues management, government relations, and strategic communications firm located in Washington, D.C. He is also the managing member of Innovative Tribal Strategies LLC, an Indian-owned consultancy that provides strategic advice to Indian nations on business and government matters. 

His prior experience includes a stint as senior counsel to the Secretary of the Interior and as the Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of Indian Affairs. He also was formerly the staff director of the U.S. Senate Committee on Indian Affairs, general counsel and legislative director of the National Indian Gaming Association, general counsel for the Oneida Indian Nation, and adjunct professor of law at Cornell Law School.

 

Jennifer CarletonJennifer Carleton (courtesy photo)Meanwhile, Carleton developed expertise in payments, internet, sports and Indian gaming, as well as an insider’s familiarity with the issues that arise when technology and regulation intersect. Since, she has served as chief legal officer for Sightline Payments, a U.S. sports betting digital payments provider and mobile app developer. Previously, Carleton was in-house counsel for Oneida Casino, an enterprise of the Oneida Tribe of Indians of Wisconsin, for a decade. 

At UNLV, Carelton will help establish the advanced Indian law and gaming curriculum and create the first-of-its-kind Indian gaming experiential learning program. 

“I want to ensure that there is an educational infrastructure in place in Nevada to support the rising generation of attorneys and advisers who understand Indian gaming, its importance, and its impact,” Carleton said in a statement.

Carleton has taught advanced federal Indian gaming at the University of Wisconsin Law School and Boyd School of Law. She is a former member of the Executive Committee of the Gaming Law Section of the State Bar of Nevada, a former trustee of the International Association of Gaming Advisors, was previously the chair of the Indian Gaming Section of the State Bar of Wisconsin, and has published numerous articles on investment and Indian gaming regulatory compliance. 

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