Visionary – Jeff Grubbe

Tribal Chairman, Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians

Lisa Marie Hart Vision 0 Comments

Jeff Grubbe, Tribal Chairman, Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians
Photo by Ethan Kaminsky


The Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians is a tribal sovereign government that has  long-standing government-to-government  relationships with local, state, and federal governments — and a positive impact on the region’s growth and development.

With a focus on issues such as philanthropy, land use, gaming, infrastructure, environmental stewardship and water, the Tribe plays a central role in creating economic vitality and quality of life.
Tribal Chairman Jeff L. Grubbe has the responsibility of navigating the intricacies of governing to achieve progress for his people and his neighbors, while also celebrating the heritage, values, and principles of the Tribe.

“As Chairman, I serve as the face of the Tribe,” says Grubbe, who has greeted President Obama at Palm Springs International Airport. “My responsibilities cover many different things. I work with the four other tribal council members, handling the day-to-day business of the Tribe. Our work focuses on planning for the future and determining how decisions that we make today will affect us five, 10, 15 years from now.”

The Agua Caliente Indian Reservation was established in 1876 and 1877 in a checkerboard-style fashion. The Reservation spans across the cities of Palms Springs, Cathedral City and Rancho Mirage as well as portions of unicorporated Riverside County.

The Tribe owns and operates the Agua Caliente Casino Resort Spa, which includes The Show concert and event venue; the Spa Resort Casino in downtown Palm Springs; the Indian Canyons and Tahquitz Canyon hiking trails; and the Indian Canyons Golf Resort.

Focusing on the future — from education to housing to healthcare — remains Chairman Grubbe’s top priority.

“This is an exciting year because we have launched the Richard M. Milanovich Fellowship with the George Washington University,” he says of the program named after the Tribe’s late chairman. The fellowship in Washington, D.C., consists of coursework, internships, and opportunities to meet key decision-makers — including members of Congress and their staff — on issues affecting Native American communities.

“Education was a big area of focus that Chairman Milanovich had during his tenure,” Grubbe says. “He loved going to Sacramento. He loved going to D.C. He loved working with other tribal leaders throughout the country. This scholarship hits all those points.”

Grubbe shares these values and has emerged as a dynamic figure in the community as well as at every level of government.


VIDEO: Jeff Grubbe, Tribal Chairman, Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians


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