Catherine Bryan

Director of Programs - Strengthening Tribal & Community Institutions


Catherine is a member of the Navajo Nation and is the director of First Nations’ Strengthening Tribal and Community Institutions. In this position, she provides strategic leadership, management and direction for First Nations’ Strengthening Tribal and Community Institutions program and other First Nations program areas. Catherine also leads First Nations’ Native Arts Initiative, which provides partner organizations and tribal programs with program support through grants and technical assistance and training, including organizational capacity building, with the goal of revitalizing and growing the field of traditional Native arts and artists.

Catherine joined First Nations as a program officer in 2008, then served as a senior program officer, and became a director of programs in 2017. Prior to joining First Nations, from 2004 to 2008, Catherine was a legal analyst for the National Tribal Justice Resource Center, a program of the National American Indian Court Judges Association that convenes and provides technical assistance for tribal court judges and judicial systems across Indian Country.

Catherine Bryan, Director of Programs

Catherine holds a J.D. degree from the University of New Mexico – School of Law. In her former life, she attained M.A. and B.A. degrees in French literature from the University of Oklahoma, lived in France on and off for several years, and taught lower-level French university courses.

Catherine was born and raised in southeastern New Mexico. She has called Boulder, Colorado, home for the past 14 years and relies heavily on the mountains and hills for a sense of direction and outdoor fun. Every day would be perfect if it involved riding a bike under Colorado’s sunny skies.