Native American Affairs Staff
Karen R. Diver
Senior Advisor to the President for Native American Affairs
Email: [email protected]
Karen Diver (Fond du Lac Band of Lake Superior Chippewa) is currently serving as the inaugural Senior Advisor to the President for Native American Affairs at the University of Minnesota. Her previous roles in higher education included serving as a Faculty Fellow for Inclusive Excellence at the College of St. Scholastica, and as faculty with the Master of Tribal Administration and Governance program at the University of Minnesota Duluth. Karen was also an appointee of President Obama as the Special Assistant to the President for Native American Affairs. She served as part of the Domestic Policy Council from November 2015 until the end of the Administration. Karen served as Chairwoman of the Fond du Lac Band of Lake Superior Chippewa from 2007-2015, and Executive Director of the YWCA of Duluth from 1992-2003.
Her current service includes the Great Lakes Fishery Commission as a US Commissioner, and member of the Climate Related Financial Risk Advisory Committee of the Financial Stability Oversight Council at the Department of Treasury. She is a member of the Board of Governors for the Honoring Nations Program with the Harvard Kennedy School Project for Indigenous Governance and Development.
She has a Bachelor’s in Economics from the University of Minnesota Duluth, and a Master’s in Public Administration from the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.
Program Manager, Native American Affairs
Email: [email protected]
Hannah Johnson, descendent of the Bois Forte Band of Chippewa, is a Project Manager in the Office of Native American Affairs at the University of Minnesota. With a B.A. in Native American and Indigenous Studies from the University of Minnesota Morris and a Masters in Indigenous Development Practice from the University of Winnipeg, Hannah is dedicated to Native American student success. As a former McNair Scholar, Hannah benefited from guidance in navigating the challenges of higher education, and she hopes that her work in the Office of Native American Affairs can make a positive impact for students like herself.
Hannah is passionate about Native American history, and how it relates to the experiences of Indigenous peoples on a global scale. She presented a research abstract at the 2023 Canadian Association for the Study of International Development titled "Redeveloping Development: An Indigenous Unraveling of the Past and Future of Development Studies." Hannah also composed the opera libretto in Mináǧi kiŋ dowáŋ: a Zitkála-Šá Opera, a project led by Native women celebrating the life and works of Zitkála-Šá, the first Native woman to compose an opera.