Deborah Ann Begay
Judge at Maricopa County Justice-Peace
On January 8 2020, Deborah Ann Begay became the first Native American to be elected as a judge with the Moon Valley Justice of the Peace in Maricopa County. Judge Begay earned her B.A. in Native American History from UC Berkeley in 2002 and her J.D. from Arizona State University’s Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law with a focus on Federal Indian Law. Begay is Naakai Dine’é born Kinyaa’áanii. Known as “Ann”, Begay was a McNair Scholar at UC Berkeley and worked in software project management in Silicon Valley post-graduation. She was an Udall Foundation Congressional Fellow at ASU and worked for the White House Council on Environmental Quality. Begay is also a veteran of the United States Navy, having served 14 years in the Naval Reserves.
Prior to winning her election for the Moon Valley Justice of the Peace, Begay worked for the Arizona Department of Education, Policy & Government Relations as a Tribal Policy Specialist. She is a public speaker on matters concerning restorative justice, tribal sovereignty, LGBTQ+ inclusive practices in the workplace, theological perspectives as they relate to social justice and building diverse community partnerships. Following her swearing-in, she thanked her supporters and acknowledged the financial support she received from the Navajo Nation to pursue higher education.
Excerpt from The Navajo-Hopi Observer