Miriam Jorgensen, PhD

Research Director, Native Nations Institute, University of Arizona

Research Director, Harvard Project on American Indian Economic Development, Harvard University

Graduate Advisor, Indigenous Governance Program

Miriam Jorgensen is a Research Scientist at the University of Arizona Udall Center for Studies in Public Policy and holds the additional titles of Research Director of the University of Arizona Native Nations Institute and Research Director of the Harvard Project on American Indian Economic Development. She also is an Affiliate Faculty member in the University of Arizona James E. Rogers College of Law and University of Arizona Graduate Interdisciplinary Program in American Indian Studies, and is a Faculty Associate of the Kathryn M. Buder Center for American Indian Studies at Washington University in St. Louis.

Jorgensen’s work on Indigenous governance and economic development—in the United States, Canada, and Australia—has addressed issues as wide-ranging as child welfare policy, policing and justice systems, natural-resource management, cultural stewardship, land ownership, tribal enterprises, housing, financial education, asset building, 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 US Policies of Self-Determination (Oxford University Press 2008); editor and co-author of Creating Private Sector Economies in Native America: Sustainable Development through Entrepreneurship (Cambridge University Press 2019), Indigenous Justice: New Tools, Approaches and Spaces (Palgrave Macmillan 2018) and Rebuilding Native Nations: Strategies for Governance and Development (University of Arizona Press 2007); lead author of the U.S. Treasury Department’s two-part Access to Credit and Capital in Native Communities reports (2016, 2017); lead technical expert supporting the Indian Law and Order Commission (2012-2013) and Commission on Native Children (2020-present); and USA senior editor of the International Indigenous Policy Journal.

Jorgensen co-founded the University of Arizona Indigenous Governance program and has been a Visiting Scholar in law and social work at Washington University in St. Louis, Distinguished Visiting Scholar at the University of Technology Sydney, Research Professor in the Jumbunna Institute for Indigenous Education and Research at the University of Technology Sydney, and Professorial Research Fellow at the Melbourne School of Government. She received her BA in economics from Swarthmore College, MA in human sciences from the University of Oxford, and both an MPP in international development and PhD in political economics from Harvard University.

She grew up in Vermillion, South Dakota, on the territory of the Dakota, Lakota, and Omaha peoples and currently resides in St. Louis, Missouri, on the ancestral homelands of the Osage Nation.

Publications