Mara Kimmel has a long career in Alaskan public policy and practice in areas related to legal and human rights and social justice. Her current work analyzes, designs and implements innovative and responsive governance strategies. As First Lady of Anchorage, Mara combined and leads two signature initiatives directed at community resilience and community equity and inclusion.

Mara has been on faculty at the University of Alaska Anchorage, Alaska Pacific University, and currently teaches at Seattle University School of Law (Anchorage Satellite Campus). She is a Senior Fellow at the Institute of the North, where her portfolio includes land rights and governance. Mara cofounded the Alaska Institute for Justice, a statewide human rights organization providing legal and language services to immigrants and refugees. In addition, Mara has worked with indigenous tribes on environmental governance issues.

She is the recipient of the Alaska Bar Association’s Distinguished Service Award, and currently serves on the Supreme Court’s Access to Civil Justice Committee. Mara recently completed a Ph.D. (summa cum laude) in Environmental Sciences and Policy from Central European University; her dissertation explained the relationship between land rights, governance, and community wellbeing in the American Arctic. She holds a J.D. (cum laude) from the University of Minnesota, a master’s degree from the University of Alaska Fairbanks in natural resources management, and a bachelor’s degree from the University of California, Berkeley in political science.

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