Karen Francis-Begay is the Special Advisor to the President on Native American Affairs at The University of Arizona (UA). She serves as a key liaison between Native Nations and the University to advance mutual goals and strengthen partnerships. Previously, Karen was the Director for Native American Student Affairs where she developed the First-Year Scholars Program, a living-learning community for Native students that has resulted in increased retention rates. In addition to her work at the UA, Karen serves on several community and national boards to advance the voice and representation of Native peoples. She is a trustee with the College Board and is on the Board of Directors with the Hopi Education Endowment Fund and College Horizons. Karen has a Bachelor of Science degree in Public Administration and a Master of Arts degree in American Indian Studies from the UA, and she just began her Ph.D. program in Higher Education. Karen is Navajo originally from Chinle, Arizona.
1998-2000: Associate Director, American Indian Language Development Institute (AILDI), The University of Arizona.
2000-2007: Director, Native American Student Affairs, The University of Arizona.
YWCA "Women on the Move" Award Recipient, 2010, Tucson, AZ
Distinguished Leadership Award, 15th International Sounding of the Drum/Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Award Ceremony, The University of Arizona, 2004
2003 Slonaker Award (Service), Arizona Alumni Association, The University of Arizona
2002 President’s Club Award, Arizona Alumni Association, The University of Arizona
1999-2000 Outstanding American Indian Staff Award, The University of Arizona