Mario Molina is the Native American Education Technical Assistance Specialist for Region 13. His role includes providing technical assistance to the Bureau of Indian Education (BIE) and the states of Oklahoma and New Mexico.
Before joining WestEd, Molina served as a Tribal Education Director in Southern Arizona where his emphasis was improving education for tribal members in the areas of preschool, K–12 education, higher education, and adult education. Prior to that, Molina was a teacher and school administrator within BIE Tribally Controlled Schools and in private, public, and charter schools; choosing schools that served a high population of Native American students.
Molina has also served as a consultant for tribal communities and school systems in their efforts to pursue self-determination, exercise tribal sovereignty, promote language revitalization and nation rebuilding through education. In each consultation, Molina has introduced his own methodology that promotes the retention of tribal culture, indigenous language, tribal heritage, and tribal identity.
He received his PhD from Arizona State University where his focus was Red Pedagogy and Life Span Developmental Psychology. Molina is a member of the Pascua Yaqui Tribe of Southern Arizona with maternal ties to the Akimel O’odham of the Gila River Indian Community.