Former Rep. Karan English, D-Ariz., lost her seat in 1994 after one term in Congress.
Serving only one term in Congress hasn’t kept former Rep. Karan English, D-Ariz., out of public service, as she was reappointed in January to another term to the Office of Congressional Ethics.
She said losing in the 1994 election served as a springboard for her to look outside the box as to how she could continue to contribute.
Part of that she did as director of Northern Arizona University’s Landsward Institute, a conservation-minded program in Flagstaff, Ariz.
The former House member, who also served in the Arizona House and Senate, as well as on the Coconino County Board of Supervisors, has also worked with the National Democratic Institute of International Affairs and Legacy International organizations.
“I still have the passion to want to change the world, which I know is such a funny thing to say at my age,” said English, whose 64th birthday is March 23.
She first traveled to Ivory Coast in the mid-1990s, and has since gone to Azerbaijan, Romania, Turkey and Peru, among other nations, to help develop democracy, especially regarding the role of women.
“I have made it a point of trying to talk to women in all of these countries that I’ve visited about becoming leaders in their communities, and not just political leaders, but business leaders or educational leaders,” English said. “I think women’s roles in the future of this world are vital. That’s been a focus of my work.”
When she isn’t traveling for that cause, she puts her efforts into helping the environment. While she taught for a few semesters, her interests steered her toward the Landsward Institute, which helped develop community partnerships on land and ecological issues. It closed last year.
English also looks for opportunities to experience the great outdoors, particularly in the spectacular regions around northern Arizona, including the Grand Canyon.
“For several years I did an annual trip down the Colorado River. It’s a pretty rigorous rafting trip . . . and it’s white-water and it’s camping and outdoors and hiking and just enjoying the Colorado River,” English said.
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