Sybil Francis, Ph.D.
Sybil Francis, Ph.D. serves as the President & CEO of Center for the Future of Arizona (CFA) and was part of its founding team. Dr. Francis brings her passion for creating positive change, her love of Arizona, and her considerable prior national public policy experience to her leadership of CFA, whose mission is to bring Arizonans together to create a stronger and brighter future for our state.
Under her leadership, Center for the Future of Arizona has an ambitious and positive agenda, focused on where Arizonans agree and where we have the opportunity to come together for positive change. CFA advances The Arizona We Want, based on the shared public values of Arizonans and their aspirations for the future of our state. As a self-proclaimed “do-tank,” CFA also impacts education, workforce, and civic engagement through its innovative programs aimed at changing the trajectory of Arizona for the good and benefit of all Arizonans.
Earlier in her career, Dr. Francis served in a variety of national leadership roles, including as a senior policy director in the U.S. House of Representatives, where she played a key role in shaping energy, environmental, and national security policy. She later served in the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, where she focused on national research policy for the national laboratories and universities.
Dr. Francis is an elected Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and a Global Futures Scholar, Julie Ann Wrigley Global Futures Laboratory. She serves on the board of The Nature Conservancy of Arizona, and chairs its Conservation and Public Policy Committee. She was a founder and remains the Standing Chair of ASU’s Women and Philanthropy program, a model women’s organization with a unique approach to engaging women in the community. Dr. Francis was recognized as one of Phoenix Business Journal’s Outstanding Women in Business in 2011, as a Woman of Achievement by InBusiness Magazine in 2020, and named one of Arizona's 48 Most Intriguing Women in 2022 by 48 Arizona Women and the Arizona Historical Society. Arizona Capitol Times has twice-honored Dr. Francis–among the Women Achievers of Arizona in 2021 and the Leaders of the Year in Public Policy in 2022. She is a member of the Arizona Women’s Forum and Charter 100. She earned her BA in Chemistry from Oberlin College and her Ph.D. in Political Science from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.