Traci Morris headshot - fair-skinned woman, smiling, black hair, glasses, gray shirt

American Indian Policy Institute executive director named to Diverse magazine’s list of 25 Top Women in Higher Education in 2021

American Indian Policy Institute (AIPI) Executive Director Traci Morris (Chickasaw Nation) is one of 25 Top Women in Higher Education in 2021, an annual honor bestowed by Diverse: Issues in Higher Education magazine.

The list is part of Diverse’s celebration of March as Women’s History Month. Coverage of the list of honored women is in the Fairfax, Virginia-based magazine’s March 4 edition, which marks its “10th anniversary of highlighting women who have made a difference in the academy by tackling some of higher education’s toughest challenges, exhibiting extraordinary leadership skills and making a positive difference in their respective communities.”

The list of honorees includes educators from Brandeis, George Washington, Northwestern, Ohio State, Rutgers and Yale universities.

Morris said she is impressed by the other members of the list and is honored to join them.

"I look forward to continuing my role in mentoring up the next generation of diverse women in higher education," she said.

From the magazine’s citation of Morris: “Under her leadership, the American Indian Policy Institute has grown and diversified its service to Indian Country via a memorandum of understanding formalizing a long-standing partnership with the Native American Finance Officers Association. She also has led AIPI in forming the Tribal Economic Leadership Program offering training in areas including tribal economic governance and financial management, access to entrepreneurship training and tribal business support.”

The Watts College of Public Service and Community Solutions-based AIPI conducts public policy analysis and research about issues that empower Native nations and support tribal sovereignty. The AIPI has significant expertise in broadband, telecommunications and digital inclusion, and it is the only Indigenous-led organization doing research in these areas in the nation. Working with a tribal-led advisory board, AIPI fulfills its mission of “leading the discourse for tribally driven, informed policymaking.”

AIPI joined Watts College in downtown Phoenix in September 2019 after 13 years on ASU’s Tempe campus.

Mark J. Scarp