Biestman Head Shot

Karen Biestman

Associate Dean and Director Stanford’s Native American Cultural Center

Karen Biestman is the Associate Dean and Director of Stanford’s Native American Cultural Center and teaches in Native American Studies at the Center for the Study of Race and Ethnicity in the areas of Federal Indian Law, Nation Building, and American Indian Religious Freedom. She has been a member of the Stanford Design School Teaching Team, where she taught courses on Crafting Challenging Conversations, Peacemaking, and others through a cultural lens.  She also taught Federal Indian Law at Stanford Law School.

Prior to 2011, she taught at U.C. Berkeley in the Law School, American Studies, and Native American Studies, and served as Assistant Dean of Students and Coordinator of Native American Studies. She left academia for one year to serve as Director of Indian Education for the United States Environmental Protection Agency, Region IX, in San Francisco to develop a national curriculum on Working Effectively with Tribal Governments.

The common thread in her professional roles is the unwavering commitment to promoting student leadership development, excellence, wellness, and learning opportunities inside and outside of the classroom. She received both her B.A. and J.D. from U.C. Berkeley.