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Karen Mackey

Karen Mackey
Sioux City, IA

Karen is an enrolled member of the Santee Sioux Tribe of Nebraska.  She graduated with a B.S. in sociology from Morningside College in Sioux City, Iowa in 1990.  In 1994 she was awarded a J.D. from the University of Nebraska College of Law.  She is a member of the bar in Iowa and Nebraska. 

Upon her graduation from law school Karen worked as a public defender for the Omaha Tribe of Nebraska and later for the Fortune 500 computer manufacturer Gateway, Inc.  She is currently employed as the Executive Director of the Sioux City Human Rights Commission, a position she has held since 2004.

Karen is a 6th degree black belt in judo, a sport she has participated in since she was a teenager.  A retired national and international-level competitor, she teaches people of all ages and has coached numerous junior elite athletes.  Karen is active in several national-level committees in USA Judo and the United States Judo Federation (USJF).

In 1995, she was inducted into the American Indian Athletic Hall of Fame.  In 1996 she received the USJF President’s Award for her contributions to the sport of judo.  In 2008, Karen was named a Woman of Excellence by Women Aware.

Karen is a lay leader at First Unitarian Church where she also serves on the church’s board of directors.  She also serves on the board of directors of Siouxland Human Investment Partnership and Disabilities Resource Center of Siouxland.  She was a co-founder of Siouxland Pride Alliance, a grassroots organization promoting the equality, safety and wellbeing of LGBT people (with an emphasis on LGBT and questioning youth) in Siouxland.

Karen has served on the Iowa Commission on Native American Affairs since its inception.  She currently serves as Commission chair.  She also serves of the Iowa Department of Human Rights Board.

Term begins on May 1st, 2013

Term ends on April 30th, 2017