Boyd School of Law adds industry veterans to the school’s Indian gaming initiatives

UNLV’s William S. Boyd School of Law today announced the appointment of Jennifer Carleton and John Tahsuda as distinguished fellows to lead the Law School’s Indian gaming initiatives.

Carleton and Tahsuda have decades of experience advising and practicing for federal, state and tribal governments and agencies in the development and application of tribal gambling law, policy and regulation.

“The addition of these two great leaders as distinguished fellows is an incredible step toward strengthening the Boyd Law Indian Nations Gaming and Governance Program, generously supported by the San Manuel Band of Mission Indians,” said Leah Chan Grinvald, Dean and Richard J. Morgan. Professor of Law. “Their connections and experiences with Indian countries will enhance our gambling curriculum, which already has the most comprehensive gambling case law and the only advanced gambling law degree available in the United States.”

John Tahsuda

Tahsuda is a director of Navigators Global, LLC, a full-service problem management, government relations, and strategic communications company based in Washington, DC. He is also the managing member of Innovative Tribal Strategies LLC, an Indian-owned consultancy that provides strategic advice to Indian countries on business and government affairs.

“I am very excited to partner 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 for the trust they have placed in us,” said Tahsuda . “I especially applaud the tribe’s vision to put this foundational resource in place for current and future generations of tribal lawyers.”

Tahsuda has served as Senior Counselor to the Home Secretary and as the Chief Deputy Assistant Secretary for Indian Affairs. He also previously served as staff director of the United States Senate Committee on Indian Affairs, general counsel and legislative director of the National Indian Gaming Association, general counsel to the Oneida Indian Nation, and adjunct law professor at Cornell Law School. He is a member of the Kiowa tribe of Oklahoma.

Working in gaming throughout her career, Carleton has developed a unique expertise in payments, internet, sports and Indian gaming as well as an insider familiar with the unique issues that arise when technology and regulation intersect. She recently joined Sightline Payments as its first Chief Legal Officer, and for UNLV, she will help establish India’s cutting-edge law and gaming curriculum and create the first of its kind Indian experiential learning curriculum for gaming.

Jennifer Carleton

“I am honored to help establish an advanced Indian gambling law curriculum at the William S. Boyd School of Law,” Carleton said. “I want to make sure there is an educational infrastructure in Nevada to support the emerging generation of lawyers and advisors who understand Indian gaming, its importance and impact.”

Prior to Sightline, Carleton was a corporate lawyer for an Indian casino for ten years and then spent 14 years in private practice as a consultant to some of the leading public and private gambling and investment companies in the world. She 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 compliance with Indian gaming regulations. Carleton was recently announced as a finalist for the 2022 Global Gaming Awards American Executive of the Year.

About the Indian Nations Gaming & Governance Program

The mission of the Indian Nations Gaming & Governance program is to provide cutting edge gaming, regulatory and governance research and training for Indian countries; to prepare indigenous students to become future leaders; and to educate non-indigenous students in the legal, political and cultural context of tribal gaming. Created in 2020 thanks to a generous donation from the San Manuel Band of Mission Indians, the program consists of specialized academic training for JD and LLM students, public programming for diverse audiences, academic and policy research, and conferences and symposia on current issues in tribal gaming and governance. The program’s faculty and leadership have extensive experience in education, gaming, federal Indian law, and tribal law and governance.

The William S. Boyd School of Law is a professional learning institution dedicated to academic excellence and practical training. Through the program, the school is committed to helping Indian countries use gaming to build a stronger future. Recipients of the San Manuel Scholarship, a full-tuition scholarship awarded each year through a sponsorship of the San Manuel Band of Mission Indians, are selected by the Admissions Board, independent of admission decisions, with preference given to Indigenous citizens and Indigenous students .

About San Manuel Band of Mission Indians

The San Manuel Band of Mission Indians is a federally recognized Indian tribe in the San Manuel Indian Reservation near Highland, California. San Manuel exercises its inherent sovereign right to self-government and provides essential services to its citizens by building infrastructure, maintaining government services, and promoting social, economic and cultural development. As the indigenous people of the highlands, passes, valleys, mountains and high deserts of San Bernardino, the Serrano people of San Manuel have called this area their home since time immemorial and are committed to continuing to be a productive partner in the San Manuel area. Bernardino. For more information, visit

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