Joely Proudfit, Ph.D.


Director of Native American Academic Strategic Planning

Associate Professor of Sociology and Native Studies
California State University, San Marcos
San Marcos, California  92096

Associate Professor Dr. Joely Proudfit has been tenured three times in the California State University system.  Dr. Proudfit joined the faculty at California State University San Marcos in fall 2008 where she will play a leadership role in curriculum development and delivery, including collaborating with departments, programs, and tribal communities to develop and deliver curriculum relevant to Native Studies and Native communities.  As the Director of Native American Academic Strategic Planning, she will play a leadership role in the development of the California Indian Culture and Sovereignty Center (CICSC) at CSUSM.

Prior to coming to CSU San Marcos, Dr. Proudfit served as a tenured Associate Professor of Public Administration and the Director of the Tribal Government, Management and Leadership MPA program. Dr. Proudfit is a Political Scientist who takes an interdisciplinary approach to her wide variety of research interests which include: Tribal Sovereignty, Federal Indian Policy, Tribal Leadership and Governance, California Indian Political and Contemporary Issues, American Indian Education, Mass Media, Tribal Telecommunications and Social Justice Issues. She has presented her research at numerous conferences and media forums. She has published numerous essays and articles, including "In the Trenches: A Critical Look at the Isolation of American Indian Political Practices in a Non-empirical Social Science,"  in the book Indigenizing the Academy, "Native American Gaming in California,” Congressional Quarterly Press, American Political History Series Native Americans, and "From Activism to Academics: The Evolution of American Indian Studies at San Francisco State 1968-2001," in Indigenous Nations Studies Journal.   Dr. Proudfit is the author of the forthcoming book, published by the University of Texas Press, on American Indian Political Power in the New Millennium.

She also served as the Department Chair and of the American Indian Studies Department at San Francisco State University, and was only the second person in the 38 year old program to earn tenure.  In addition to her academic positions, Dr. Proudfit also served as the First Special Advisor to the Honorable Cruz M. Bustamante Lieutenant Governor of California for California Indian Sovereign Nations in 2002. Dr. Proudfit has taught a wide range of both graduate and undergraduate courses including, American Indian Politics, Tribal Government Management, Business – Government Relations, American Indians and US Laws, Images and Issues in the Mass Media, Tribal Government Gaming and Economic Development, American Government and Politics, American Indians: Stereotypes and Realities in the Mass Media, Power and Politics in American Indian History, Federal Indian Law and Administration.

Joely Proudfit (Luiseño), PhD, is a descendant of the Pechanga Band of Luiseño Mission Indians. Dr. Proudfit holds an M.A. and Ph.D. in Political Science with emphasis in Public Policy and American Indian Studies from Northern Arizona University and a B.A. in Political Science with an emphasis in Public Law from California State University, Long Beach.  As the first member of her family to complete a high school diploma, Joely serves as a role model for Native youth and encourages self-determination through knowledge and education. She is one of only a few American Indians with a Ph.D. in Political Science and was the first recipient of the American Political Science Association Native Fellows Program.

Dr. Proudfit is the owner and founder of Naqmayam Communications, an independent, full service California Indian owned and operated public relations agency. Naqmayam Communications, aka NaqCom, promotes socially conscious marketing and consumer and cultural education. NaqCom offers expertise in developing and implementing communication strategies to successfully build consensus and brand loyalty among Native American communities. Dr. Proudfit serves on numerous boards and committees, such as; Vice Chair for the Native American Caucus of the California Democratic Party, Board Member of the California Indian Museum and Cultural Center, Executive Director of the California Indian Professors Association, Advisory Board Members for Senate Bill 41, and Member of the National Congress of American Indians Telecommunications Committee.  In addition, Dr. Proudfit is committed to serving the American Indian community in a number of capacities.  She served as a highly visible campaign spokesperson, participating in numerous television ads for both the Proposition 1A – California Constitutional Amendment, Indian Self-Reliance Initiative, and the Proposition 5 – Indian Self-Reliance Initiative.  Dr. Proudfit also serves as the Executive Producer for the upcoming documentary entitled, "I is not for Indian," which explores the controversy of how Native American curriculum is taught in our public schools. She has also participated in a number of media venues such as National Public Radio, Television and news specials on issues relating to Tribal gaming, social justice issues, American Indian political development, Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation and California Indian issues.  She has testified before state legislators on California Indian education issues and works side by side with tribal leaders and state legislators to implement new legislation to benefit American Indians.

Dr. Proudfit is the recipient of numerous accolades for her work and community service.  She has received the California Teachers Association's Salute to Friends of Education Award, the Opportunities Unlimited, 2002 Award, in recognition of dedication and leadership by Congresswoman Grace F. Napolitano and California Teachers Association, the John F. Kennedy, Jr. Award for Outstanding Public Service, and recipient of the National Native American Bo Jack Humanitarian Award.