Michael Hoenig leaves NIGC General Counsel role

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The National Indian Gaming Commission (NIGC) has announced that Michael Hoenig will be leaving his position as General Counsel, effective Jan. 27.

A member of the NIGC since 2006, Hoenig has worked in numerous roles within the Agency Office of General Counsel, including as the agency’s longest-serving General Counsel for the past seven years.

Hoenig leaves the commission to become the San Manuel Band of Mission Indians’ new Vice President and Associate General Counsel for Gaming.

Rea Cisneros (Anishinaabe – Lac Courte Oreilles) has been appointed as the acting General Counsel, while Esther Dittler (Six Nations – Mohawk) will serve as an Agency acting Associate General Counsel, joining Sharon Avery (Anishinaabe – Saginaw Chippewa).

“Mike’s solution-driven approach helped to institutionalize a number of new practices in the General Counsel’s office,” commented E Sequoyah Simermeyer, Chairman of the National Indian Gaming Commission.

“These improvements maximized the skills of legal staff and attorneys and have been important in attracting and building one of the best legal teams the Agency has ever had.”

Simermeyer added: “I am both excited for Mike as he pursues a new and well-deserved opportunity in Indian country. I will miss him as a leader, important contributor to advancing the NIGC mission, and a respected voice in much of Agency’s innovations in recent years.”

The NIGC noted that Hoenig helped guide the agency during critical points in tribal gaming history such as the pandemic, the expansion of sports betting, compliance issues, and the emergence of cyber threats and technology uses.

Hoenig stated on his departure: “It is with mixed emotions that I depart NIGC. I am sincerely grateful to have been privileged enough to get to serve with the amazing staff to advance the mission and purposes of the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act – to protect Tribal gaming as one of the most important economic resources in Indian country.

“I look forward to continuing that mission from a slightly different perspective in this new role with the San Manuel Band of Mission Indians.”