Headshot of Steve Light

Steve Light

Professor of Political Science and Public Administration and Co-Director of the Insitute for the Study of Tribal Gaming Law and Policy at the University of North Dakota
Department(s): International Center for Gaming Regulation


Steve Light (Ph.D. Northwestern, B.A. Yale) is a Professor of Political Science and Public Administration, former Interim Dean of Business and Public Administration, and Co-Director of the Institute for the Study of Tribal Gaming Law and Policy at the University of North Dakota (UND). The Institute is the first university research center dedicated to advancing knowledge and understanding of Indian gaming.

With Kathryn Rand (UND School of Law), Steve is widely recognized as among the nation’s leading experts on Indian gaming, federal Indian law, and tribal-state-federal intergovernmental relations. He has published more than 50 articles and co-authored three books on tribal gaming, including Indian Gaming Law: Cases and Materials (2008, 2d ed. 2019), Indian Gaming Law and Policy (2006, 2d ed. 2014), and Indian Gaming and Tribal Sovereignty: The Casino Compromise (2005), featured on C-SPAN’s Book TV. He has testified on Indian gaming regulation and oversight before the U.S. Senate Committee on Indian Affairs, serves on the Editorial Board of the Gaming Law Review, and is a member of the International Masters of Gaming Law and the ABA Business Law Section’s Gaming Law Committee.

He is a frequent commentator in the national media, including the New York Times, Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg, NPR, and Indian Country Today, has delivered invited lectures at Boston College, Stanford, the University of Macau, and numerous industry events. Light’s research also includes organizational leadership and diversity and inclusion. He was awarded UND’s highest award for faculty excellence in teaching, research, and service.