Lois Tarkanian, Ph.D.
Regent Lois Tarkanian was elected in November 2020 to serve on the Board of Regents as the representative for District 2. She is a member of the Business, Finance and Facilities Committee; Health Sciences System Committee; Investment Committee; and Security Committee.
Dr. Tarkanian has extensive experience in education and diverse government activities. Her current passion is the development of the UNLV School of Medicine and the surrounding medical district upon which she has worked for the last four and a half years.
Dr. Tarkanian holds a Bachelor of Arts in Education, a Master of Arts in Speech and Hearing, and a Doctorate in Leadership and Human Behavior. She served 14 years on the Las Vegas City Council, including as Mayor Pro Tem; and 12 years on the Clark County School District Board of Education, including as its president.
As an educator, she has held positions as a classroom teacher, a speech pathologist, and an administrator. She also taught classes at the Community College of Southern Nevada (now CSN) and at California state universities. In private practice, she founded Oralingua, the first private day school for deaf children in California, and she initiated Nevada’s first full-inclusion program for the deaf in the demonstration pre-school at CSN.
Dr. Tarkanian was a co-founder, and continues to serve on the board, of the Public Education Foundation. She has served on the boards of FACT-Family and Child Treatment Center for Abused Children; Oralingua School for the Hearing Impaired; Nevada PEP (Professionals Empowering Parents); EMERGE Nevada, mentoring emerging women leaders; and as chairwoman of the Advisory Committee for the Teacher Education Academy at Clark High School.
Dr. Tarkanian has been honored for her work by such designations as Humanitarian of the Year by Catholic Community Services, Citizen of the Year by the Westcare Foundation, and was the recipient of the Silver Lily Humanitarian of the Year Award by March of Dimes. She received the Nevada Woman Silver Heart Award, Las Vegas African American Award for Distinguished Service, and the Friends of Education Annual Award from the Nevada State Education Association. She has also been presented with honorary lifetime memberships in the National Congress of Parents and Teachers and the Nevada State Congress of Parents and Teachers. On May 6, 2006, she was honored with the Spirit of Leadership Award by the Lili Claire Foundation and received the Lifetime Education Achievement Award from the Public Education Foundation. In August 2006, the Tarkanian Middle School, named in her honor, was opened by the Clark County School District. In 2009, she received the Florence Lee Jones Humanitarian Award from the Junior League of Las Vegas. In 2012, she received the Community Partner Award from the Foundation for Recovery and the Spotlight 2012 Straight from the Heart Award from Helping Hands of Vegas Valley. Recently, she was one of three finalists for the National American Planning Association Leadership Award for applying her considerable community experience to champion key planning initiatives such as expanding community outreach and improving neighborhoods.