Stacy L. Leeds is Vice Chancellor for Economic Development at the University of Arkansas. She provides leadership for campus-wide engagement, collaboration, and outreach to citizens, businesses, governmental and civic entities in Arkansas and beyond. She works closely with the ten colleges, schools and divisions at the University of Arkansas to amplify the university's impact as a land-grant institution and as an engine for innovation and economic growth.
Leeds served as Dean of the University of Arkansas School of Law from 2011-2018 and continues as professor of law where she teaches an American Indian law course and legal clinic. 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 teaching 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.
She currently serves on many national and local boards including the American Indian Graduate Center, the Law School Admission Council, Arkansas Children's Hospital Northwest, Arvest Bank (Fayetteville), Theatre Squared, Kituwah Economic Development Board, Charles Thomas & Mary Alice Pearson Educational Foundation, Akiptan, Inc., Northwest Arkansas Council and Fayetteville Chamber of Commerce.
Leeds is a sought-after public speaker on a wide variety of topics in law and higher education. She is often tapped as expert counsel to tribal governments and business entities across the nation. She is the recipient of the Cherokee National Statesmanship Award in recognition of her service as a Justice on the Cherokee Nation Supreme Court and as Chairperson of the Cherokee Nation Gaming Commission. She has served as a trial and appellate judge for many tribes and is experienced at several forms of conflict resolution, including formal arbitration.
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.