Director/Attorney, Office of Navajo Public Defender

Kathleen Bowman, a Navajo attorney, is Director of the Office of Navajo Public Defender for the past 29 years.  Born in Rehoboth, New Mexico, Ms. Bowman has lived in Fort Defiance, Arizona for most of her life.  Ms. Bowman graduated from Anderson School of Management, University of New Mexico in 1976 and was employed by Navajo Area IHS as Deputy Personnel Officer when she entered Arizona State University College of Law in 1983. She obtained her J.D. in 1986 and was admitted to the State Bar of Arizona in 1986; Navajo Nation Bar in 1987; and State Bar of New Mexico in 1988.  Before her appointment as Director, Ms. Bowman’s previous employment included Attorney, Navajo Nation Department Justice, Director; Navajo Legal Aid and Public Defender Office; Executive Director, DNA-People’s Legal Services, Inc.; and Assistant Attorney General, Navajo Nation Department of Justice.  Ms. Bowman was honored as Legal Counsel of the Year in 1998 by Chinle District; Outstanding Alumna 1990, Arizona State University for achievement in her community and profession; Indian Legal Program 2013 Award for Professional Achievement in the Public Sector, Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law, Arizona State University, and was also selected to receive the St. Katherine Drexel National Justice Award 2021 (Philadelphia, PA).  Ms. Bowman is on the Indian Affairs Committee of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers and serves on the Board of Directors, Arizona Public Defender Association.