Tarajean Yazzie-Mintz, Ed.D.

Vice President, Program Initiatives



Tarajean Yazzie-Mintz, Ed.D. has devoted her career to improving access to early education for American Indian and Alaska Native children. An enrolled member of the Navajo Nation, Yazzie-Mintz works with tribal colleges and universities to develop early childhood programs and early learning centers. She helps develop curriculum based on each community’s unique language, culture, and educational practices.

Yazzie-Mintz began her career in education as an early childhood teacher in Seattle, Washington. She continued her graduate studies at Arizona State University and Harvard University Graduate School of Education in early childhood education. After earning her degree from Harvard, she worked for two years in the Boston Public Schools before serving as assistant professor in curriculum and instruction at the School of Education at Indiana University–Bloomington. There she worked with the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma, taught in the teacher education program as assistant professor of curriculum studies, and conducted research in the area of Native teacher knowledge and instructional practice.

Yazzie-Mintz has received numerous professional awards, honors, competitive grants, and fellowships, has presented at scholarly meetings and symposia across the country, and has published in numerous scholarly education publications.

She was named the 2016 recipient of Harvard Graduate School of Education’s Alumni Council Award for Outstanding Contribution to Education and was appointed by President Obama in January 2017 to the Board of Directors at the National Board for Education Sciences.