Az Business and AZRE magazines announced the publications’ lists of the Most Influential Women in Arizona of 2021, including Nancy Gonzales, executive vice president and university provost, Arizona State UniversityIn celebration of the 10th anniversary of the Most Influential Women program, is profiling one of the Most Influential Women of 2021 each day leading up to the Most Influential Women of 2021 dinner and reception.

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The Most Influential Women for 2021 will be honored at a reception on August 26 at Chateau Luxe in Phoenix. For sponsorship information, email For information about the event honoring the Most Influential Women, email or click here.

To buy copies of the Most Influential Women in Arizona issue, click here.

Today’s spotlight: Nancy Gonzales

Executive vice president and university provost

Arizona State University

When she graduated from Arizona State University, Nancy Gonzales became the first in her family to earn a college degree. She then went on to a PhD from the University of Washington and an award-winning career in research and teaching. 

Lesson learned in 2020:I learned how much can be achieved through collective determination and action when an institution is faced with a shared crisis. Our faculty, staff, and students stepped up in amazing ways.  The pandemic also taught me that unexpected and terrible circumstances can give rise to brilliance, creativity, and change that will ultimately make us even better.”

Source of pride:I am most proud that I have used my research, community work, and leadership roles to open doors for individuals and groups that have been underrepresented in higher education. This is ultimately the core thread that unites my past work as a faculty member, teacher, mentor, social and behavioral scientist, and executive leader.”

Surprising fact:One defining fact about me is that I have experienced sudden and tragic losses in my life, including the loss of my first husband and children’s father and the loss of a step-son.  These life experiences keep me grounded in empathy and hope for I have seen how much growth can follow tragedy and loss.  As an academic leader I am committed to provide the support and conditions needed for communities and individuals to overcome and thrive.”