Stacy Leeds is an experienced leader in law and higher education with expertise in American Indian Law, tribal governance, property, economic development and Cherokee legal history. She currently serves as Vice Chancellor for Economic Development, Dean Emeritus and Professor of Law at the University of Arkansas. She provides leadership for campus-wide engagement, collaboration, and outreach to citizens, businesses, governmental and nonprofit entities in Arkansas and beyond. She works closely with UA's ten colleges, schools and divisions to amplify the university's economic and social impact.
From 2011-2018, Dean Leeds served as the dean of the University of Arkansas School of Law and was the first native woman to serve as dean of a law school in the United States. She holds law degrees from the University of Wisconsin (LL.M.) and the University of Tulsa (J.D.). She is also a graduate of Washington University in St. Louis (B.A.) and the University of Tennessee (M.B.A). Prior to joining the University of Arkansas, Leeds was a professor and administrator at the University of Kansas and the University of North Dakota. She began her academic career as a William H. Hastie Fellow at the University of Wisconsin School of Law. She is a recipient of the American Bar Association's Spirit of Excellence Award and an elected member of the American Law Institute. She is a former Alphonse Fletcher, Sr. Fellow affiliated with the W.E.B. DuBois Institute at Harvard University and a former Sequoyah Fellow at Northeastern State University.
Leeds is well-known for national and local public service. She was the first woman to serve as a Cherokee Nation Supreme Court Justice and has served as judge for many tribal judiciaries at the trial and appellate judge. Her current board service includes the American Indian Graduate Center, Arkansas Children's Hospital Northwest, Arvest Bank (Fayetteville), Theatre Squared, Winthrop Rockefeller Institute, Kituwah Economic Development Board (Kituwah, LLC), Charles Thomas & Mary Alice Pearson Educational Foundation, Akiptan, Inc., the Northwest Arkansas Council and Fayetteville Chamber of Commerce.
A former athlete and life-long sports enthusiast, she was inducted into the Muskogee Athletic Hall of Fame in her hometown in Oklahoma (2015) and was a two-sport college athlete at Washington University in St. Louis. In 2016, she completed a 950-mile journey as a Cherokee Nation Remember the Removal cyclist.