Karen Biestman Named Special Assistant on Diversity, Equity and Inclusion and Title IX Coordinator

Karen Williams Biestman JD joins SMC as a Special Assistant to the Provost on Diversity, Equity and Inclusion and as Title IX Coordinator.Saint Mary’s College announces the appointment of Karen Williams Biestman JD as a Special Assistant to the Provost on Diversity, Equity and Inclusion and as Title IX Coordinator. The position reports to the provost, and also supports the vice president for finance and administration for Title IX duties. Biestman begins a one-year appointment on June 26, 2017.

Biestman is currently a lecturer in Native American Studies and the Center for Comparative Studies in Race and Ethnicity at Stanford University. She is also the director of the Native American Cultural Center at Stanford. She previously served as an assistant dean of students at Stanford, and taught in the law schools of both UC Berkeley and Stanford.

“Karen Williams Biestman is recognized as a scholar and a leader advancing inclusion efforts in higher education,” said Provost Bethami Dobkin. “We are truly fortunate to have Karen join the College, as she is an insightful educator and gifted administrator. I encourage our entire community to join me in offering her a warm welcome to Saint Mary’s.”

Biestman’s duties at Saint Mary’s include developing sustainable processes for implementation and assessment of the institution’s Inclusive Excellence goals, including the creation of appropriate analytics and metrics to evaluate College policies, planning, and execution. As Saint Mary’s Title IX Coordinator, she will be responsible for managing the institution’s Title IX program, ensuring compliance with all state and federal laws, leading the program’s Sexual Assault Prevention Committee and advising Saint Mary’s president and cabinet on Title IX challenges, issues, and concerns. Biestman also hopes to teach courses in her areas of expertise.

In addition to her administrative and academic coursework in Law and Native American Studies at Stanford, Biestman teaches, trains, and consults on topics of federal Indian law, American Indian Religious Freedom, Environmental Justice, and Indian Country Economic Development. Her experience includes serving as co-director of UC Berkeley’s Joseph Myers Center for Research on Native American Issues, and as the director of Indian Education for the Environmental Protection Agency, Region 9, in San Francisco.

Biestman serves generously on a variety of community and campus committees and boards, including as vice chair of the California Indian Museum and Cultural Center. She earned her juris doctorate and a bachelor of arts degree in Native American Studies from the University of California, Berkeley.  


Michael McAlpin
Asst. Vice Provost, Director of Media Relations
Office of College Communications
(925) 631-4222 office

About SMC
The Saint Mary's College of California experience inspires learning that lasts a lifetime. For more than 150 years, the College has provided students with a rigorous education that engages their intellect and spirit, and awakens a desire to transform society. Guided by the Christian Brothers, the Catholic Church's oldest order dedicated exclusively to teaching, the College enrolls more than 4,000 students in undergraduate and graduate liberal arts and business programs. For more information visit Saint Mary's College at stmarys-ca.edu and just 23 miles east of San Francisco.