NIC Staff

Sherry L. Rupert, Executive Director

Sherry Rupert

Sherry is the Executive Director of the State of Nevada Indian Commission, appointed by Governor Kenny Guinn September of 2005. On October 10, 2013, Sherry was sworn in by Governor Brian Sandoval as the first American Indian woman to be appointed a member of his cabinet.

Mrs. Rupert is a graduate of the University of Nevada, Reno with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Business Administration and is past President of the Native American Chapter of the University of Nevada, Reno Alumni Association.

Sherry is the Chairwoman of Nevada’s Indian Territory, a marketing arm of the Nevada Commission on Tourism, and was awarded the 2007 and 2008 Excellence in Tourism Award as well as the 2011 Statewide Excellence in Tourism Award from the Nevada Commission on Tourism for her success in promoting and advancing tourism in Indian Country. She was also awarded the 2009 Human and Civil Rights Award from the Nevada State Education Association for her work in the advancement of Indian education in the state.

Mrs. Rupert was elected President of the Board of Directors for the American Indian Alaska Native Tourism Association (AIANTA), January 2014. The American Indian Alaska Native Tourism Association is a 501(c)(3) national nonprofit association incorporated in 2002 to advance Indian Country tourism.

Mrs. Rupert was named to the prestigious U.S. Department of Commerce Travel and Tourism Advisory Board (US TTAB) in June 2013. The Board, established in 2003, serves as the advisory body to the Secretary of Commerce and the White House on matters relating to the travel and tourism industry in the United States.

Sari Nichols, Program Officer 1


Sari Nichols was hired as the Program Officer 1 for the Nevada Indian Commission in August of 2017. Sari received her Bachelor’s in History Summa Cum Laude from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, and holds a Master Degree in English Literature. Sari is a Nevada Veterans Service Advocate and proudly helps Nevada Tribal vets. She also serves as the Secretary for the Indian Territory, the non-profit arm of the Nevada Commission on Tourism and serves on the Father’s Day Powwow Color Fun Run committee.  Sari has been in state service since 2009, and brings her many skills and passion for all things Stewart related to the Commission.

Diane Buckley, Administrative Assistant III


Diane started as an Administrative Assistant 3 for the Nevada Indian Commission on January 14, 2019. Diane comes from the Nevada Division of Welfare and Supportive Services where she worked as a clerical supervisor for four years.
Mrs. Buckley had served as a bookkeeper and tax consultant for Stewart Indian Museum, and Stewart Powwow Volunteer, with the then Executive Director, Bob Sill in the 1990s. Mrs. Buckley had served as a patient rights advocate in Nevada for the National Patient Advocate Foundation for several years. She has supported many bills in the state legislature as an effort to assist the Nevada disabled community.
Mrs. Buckley’s professional background is in accounting and business. Her educational background is in business and accounting. Diane has been living in northern Nevada since early 1993, and hails from Laguna Beach, California. Mrs. Buckley is excited to join the Nevada Indian Commission.

Bobbi Rahder, Museum Director I


Bobbi Rahder is a museum professional with 25 years of demonstrated experience in museum management. With a Masters Degree in Museum Studies, she has served as museum director, curator, and collections manager at several museums.  For 13 years she worked Haskell Indian Nations University in Lawrence, KS  to help them create and operate the Haskell Cultural Center and Museum.  She has extensive grant writing and marketing skills, and has curated many exhibitions and educational programs from museum collections.

Chris Ann Gibbons, Curator II


Chris Ann Gibbons began with the Nevada Indian Commission in 2005 and is currently the Curator for the Stewart Indian School Cultural Center.  She is also instrumental in promoting and marketing the Stewart Indian School which includes educational outreach, research, programming and she is part of the team responsible for its rehabilitation.  Chris is a graduate of Southern Oregon University with a degree in History and minors in both Native American Studies and Art History. Currently, Chris is working on obtaining a Master Degree in Museum Studies from the University of Oklahoma. Before coming to the Commission, she worked in educational outreach and programming for the Southern Oregon Historical Society.  Chris is the recipient of the 2008 and 2016 Excellence in Tourism Award from the Nevada Commission on Tourism for her success in promoting and advancing tourism in Indian Country.