Dena Ned portrait
  • Associate Professor (Lecturer), College Of Social Work
  • Director, Indigenous Social Work Scholars Program, College Of Social Work


  • PhD, College of Social Work, University of Utah. Project: Title V of the Indian Health Care Improvement Act: An Interpretive Policy Analysis of its 34 year history
  • MSW, School of Social Welfare, University of California- Berkeley. Project: Indian Child Welfare Act Compliance of Alameda County Department of Children and Family Services Protective Workers
  • BA, Anthropology, University of Utah
  • Post-doc, Global Mental Health, Harvard University. Project: postdoctoral training in Refugee Trauma Global Mental Health: Trauma & Recovery Certificate Program
  • Fellowship at the Center for American Indian Health, Bloomberg School of Public Health, Johns Hopkins


J. Dena Ned is an Associate Professor/Lecturer at the University of Utah College of Social Work.  Her research has focused on the Indian Child Welfare Act, Title V of the Indian Health Care Improvement Act, urban American-Indian health policies and delivery of care systems, as well as social determinants of health in native communities.  After earning her Masters of Social Welfare (MSW) from the University of California, Berkeley, she worked with California’s Division of Children and Family Services before going on to direct a Title V-funded urban Indian health center in Salt Lake City.  Her direct practice experience motivated her to explore issues of social justice, health, and policy from the perspective of urban Indians. 

Tribal Affiliation

Citizen of the Chickasaw Nation of Oklahoma; citizenship descendant to the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma