Miriam Jorgensen, PhD

Miriam Jorgensen
Research Director, Native Nations Institute, University of Arizona. Research Director, Harvard Project on American Indian Economic Development, Harvard University


Miriam is Research Director for the Native Nations Institute at the University of Arizona and for its sister program, the Harvard Project on American Indian Economic Development. Her areas of specialty are Indigenous governance and economic development, with a particular focus on the ways communities’ governance arrangements and socio-cultural characteristics affect development. Her work—in the United States, Canada, and Australia—has addressed issues as wide-ranging as welfare policy, policing and justice systems, natural resources, cultural stewardship, land ownership, enterprise management, financial education, and philanthropy.

She is a co-author of Structuring Sovereignty: Constitutions of Native Nations (UCLA AIS Press, 2014) and The State of the Native Nations: Conditions under U.S. Policies of Self-Determination (Oxford University Press, 2008); editor and co-author of Rebuilding Native Nations: Strategies for Governance and Development (University of Arizona Press, 2007); and a member of the editorial board of the International Indigenous Policy Journal.

Jorgensen co-directs the Indigenous Governance masters degree and continuing education certificate programs at the University of Arizona. She is also Affiliate Faculty at the University of Arizona James E. Rogers College of Law, Adjunct Professor at the Washington University School of Social Work, and Professorial Fellow in Indigenous Governance with the Melbourne School of Government. She has been a Visiting Scholar at the Washington University Schools of Law and Social Work; a Distinguished Visiting Scholar at University of Technology, Sydney; a Dyason Fellow at Melbourne Law School; and Visiting Research Professor at Charles Sturt University in New South Wales. Jorgensen is also a former member of the Swarthmore College Board of Managers. Dr. Jorgensen received her BA in economics from Swarthmore College, MA in human sciences from the University of Oxford, and MPP and PhD from Harvard University.


Starks, R., & Jorgensen, M. (2016). Land and Indigenous business development in Canada. In K. G. Brown, M. B. Doucette, & J. E. Tulk (Eds.). Indigenous Business in Canada: Principles and Practices. Sydney, Nova Scotia: Cape Breton University Press.

Akee, R., Jorgensen, M., & Sunde, U. (2015). Critical junctures and economic development - evidence from the adoption of constitutions among American Indian nationsJournal of Comparative Economics, 43(4), 844-861. doi: 10.1016/j.jce.2015.08.004.

Dolan, J., Record, I., Jorgensen, M., & Briggs, E. (2015). Honoring Nations All-Stars Profile: The Red Lake Walleye Recovery Program Red Lake Nation. Cambridge, MA: Harvard Project on American Indian Economic Development, Harvard University.

Jäger, M. B., Starks, R. R., Smith, A. T., & Jorgensen, M. (2015, Summer). Culture and law: Preliminary findings in a review of 100+ tribal welfare codes. The Judges' Page Newsletter. Retrieved from http://www.casaforchildren.org/site/c.mtJSJ7MPIsE/b.9299977/k.9128/Article4_Jager_Starks_Smith_Jorgensen.htm.

Jorgensen, M., & Taylor, J. B. (2015). New paths home: The impact of four directions development corporation on Indian Island, Maine, 2001-2014. Sarasota, FL: The Taylor Policy Group.

Rainie, S., Jorgensen, M., Cornell, S., & Arsenault, J. (2015). The changing landscape of health care provision to American Indian nationsAmerican Indian Culture and Research Journal, 39(1), 1-24. doi:http://dx.doi.org/10.17953/aicr.39.1.j1u030g668113403.

Ritsema, R., Dawson, J., Jorgensen, M., & Macdougall, B. (2015). Steering Our Own Ship?” An Assessment of Self-Determination on and Self-Governance for Community Development in NunavutThe Northern Review, 41, 157-180.

Akee, R., & Jorgensen, M. (2014). Property institutions and business investments on American Indian reservations.Regional Science and Urban Economics, 46, 116-125. doi: 10.1016/j.regsciurbeco.2014.04.001.

Jorgensen, M. (2014). Four contemporary tensions in indigenous nation building: Challenges for leadership. In C. Voyaguer, L. Brearley, & B. Calliou (Eds.), Restorying indigenous leadership: Wise Practices in Community Development (pp. 185-213). Banff, Alberta: Banff Centre for Leadership, Management, and the Arts.

Jorgensen, M. (2014). Review of the White Earth Nation: Ratification of a Native democratic constitutionAmerican Indian Culture and Research Journal, 38(3), 205-208. doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.17953/aicr.38.3.y4wx334765270046.

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