Dr. Gavin Clarkson

Dr. Gavin ClarksonDr. Gavin Clarkson, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Policy and Economic Development – Indian Affairs

Dr. Gavin Clarkson, a citizen of The Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma, was appointed by Interior Secretary to be the new Deputy Assistant Secretary for Policy and Economic Development – Indian Affairs within the Office of the Assistant Secretary – Indian Affairs, a supervisory position for the Offices of Indian Energy and Economic Development, Indian Gaming, and Self-Governance.

Dr. Gavin Clarkson is an associate professor in the College of Business at New Mexico State University where he teaches courses in business law and Federal Indian Law and Policy. An enrolled member of the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma, Dr. Clarkson has consulted, written, and published extensively on tribal finance and economic development and has conducted significant research on the empirical data on Indian mascots. Dr. Clarkson was also a contributing author for the most recent edition Felix Cohen’s Handbook of Federal Indian Law, providing material on tribal finance, economic development, and intellectual property.

In 2005, Dr. Clarkson received the first ever grant from the National Science Foundation to study the dynamics of tribal finance. His research and Congressional testimony on tribal access to the capital markets helped lead to the inclusion of $2B of Tribal Economic Development Bonds in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.

Dr. Clarkson holds both a bachelor’s degree and an MBA from Rice University, a doctorate from the Harvard Business School in Technology and Operations Management, and is a cum laude graduate of the Harvard Law School, where he was the managing editor of the Harvard Journal of Law and Technology and president of the Native American Law Students Association.

Dr. Clarkson was on the Computer Science faculty at Rice University from 1991 until 1998 and was a KPMG Fellow at the Harvard Business School from 1998 until 2003. While at Harvard he was also the John M. Olin Research Fellow in Law, Economics, and Business, the Reginald F. Lewis Fellow for Law Teaching, and held a university-wide fellowship, the 1665 Harvard University Native American Program Fellowship. From 2003 until 2008, Dr. Clarkson was an assistant professor in the School of Information at the University of Michigan, with simultaneous appointments at the Law School and in Native American Studies, where he grew the Indian Law program from 5 students in 2003 to more than 60 by 2008. He was on the faculty at the University of Houston Law Center from 2008 to 2012.

Dr. Clarkson holds the Series 7, Series 24, and Series 66 Securities licenses from the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA). He has helped tribes raise more than $700 million for tribal governmental and entrepreneurial enterprises using a variety of financial mechanisms including taxable and tax-exempt bonds, bank credit facilities, and New Markets Tax Credits.

Deputy Assistant Secretary for Policy and Economic Development
Office of the Assistant Secretary — Indian Affairs
1849 C. Street, NW
Washington, DC 20240
202-208-7163
gavin.clarkson@bia.gov