Indian Legal Program welcomes back former director Kate Rosier
Kathlene “Kate” Rosier is returning as the executive director of the Indian Legal Program at the Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law at Arizona State University.
Rosier, who left the College of Law in 2011 to become the assistant general counsel for the Fort McDowell Yavapai Nation, served as the Indian Legal Program’s director for 11 years.
“I feel like I’m being reunited with family,” Rosier said about her return. “I love and missed the daily interaction with students, so I was excited to have the opportunity to come back.”
Rosier replaces Ann Marie Downes, who was recently appointed by the White House to serve in the assistant secretary’s office of the Bureau of Indian Affairs. Rosier will start on Oct. 13.
Rosier said she is looking forward to picking up where Downes left off and working with Patty Ferguson-Bohnee, faculty director of the Indian Legal Program. Rosier will be involved in the day-to-day operations of the program, as well as student recruitment and retention and tribal outreach.
“There is a lot of energy around the program,” Rosier said. “Patty is working hard to build new partnerships within the university and the community, and that will lead to opportunities for our students.”
Established in 1988, the Indian Legal Program at ASU is one of the largest and most renowned programs of its kind in the nation. It’s mission to improve the legal systems that affect tribal governments is being advanced by graduates who have gone on to work at all levels of tribal, state and federal government, as well as private practice.
Rosier says she hopes to keep alumni engaged in the program’s ongoing activities, as well as increase funding for new opportunities for students. One such program would allow Indian Legal Program students to study in Washington, D.C., and other places around the country.
“Our alumni and students are really the heart of the program and what makes it special,” Rosier said. “What we do revolves around them and making their experience the best we can.”
Rosier, a member of the Comanche Tribe, received her J.D. from the University of Utah. Prior to joining ASU Law in 2000, she served as a tribal court advocate at Four Rivers Indian Legal Services and as a prosecutor in children’s court for the Gila River Indian Community.