JoAnn Kay Chase has joined the Tishman Environment and Design Center as a Visiting Scholar for Spring 2017. Chase will join the Tishman Center during Earth Week at The New School, to curate and moderate one of the highlighted events: Ecology and Sovereignty: Native and Indigenous Perspectives Transcending Boundaries. The event will bring together Native and Indigenous artists, activists, and thought leaders underscoring the value of traditional ecological knowledge and the necessity of transcending the imposed boundaries of thought, borders, and mediums as we advance socially just approaches to environmental issues.
Prior to joining the Tishman Center, Chase was Director of the American Indian Environmental Office at the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). She holds a BA from Boston University and a JD from University of New Mexico School of Law. A citizen of the Mandan, Hidatsa, and Arikara nations, Chase’s role at the EPA was managing and directing issues related to the American Indian Environmental Office. She provided national leadership, advice and assistance on Indian affairs throughout the agency and across the federal government.
Chase has been serving as a social justice advocate and innovative strategist committed to building a more inclusive democracy. Following nearly two decades of public policy work in Washington, D.C., she moved to New York City and launched her own consulting company, The Chase Group. She built upon her expertise in Indigenous rights to include efforts to move more philanthropic resources to social justice causes, promote environmental justice, advance efforts to promote and protect Native arts and culture and engage the Native voice in the media justice movement.
Chase has also served in a range of leadership positions from the Executive Director of the National Congress of American Indians, this country’s oldest and largest national Indian membership organization to serving as the Director of the National Network of Grantmakers. She was also selected as the Special Rapporteur for the Indigenous Caucus at the World Conference Against Racism. She has appeared before the Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination as an expert witness on Indigenous issues.