President & CEO
Sybil Francis is a founding member, President & CEO of the Center for the Future of Arizona (CFA). She is a public policy architect committed to advancing innovative solutions to societal imperatives. She oversees CFA’s strategic innovations, research, and partnership and advances key initiatives that are at the core of CFA’s mission and work, including The Arizona We Want, Arizona Progress Meters, Civic Health, and Education & Workforce Innovation.
Francis previously served as CFA’s Executive Director from 2002 – 2018. Prior to her move to Arizona in 2002, Francis’ public policy work focused on advancing the national science and technology enterprise. Francis began her career working in the U.S. House of Representatives and later served in the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy. She has also served as part of the leadership team of the Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art, a small private college in New York.
Francis serves on multiple boards and committees including: The Nature Conservancy Arizona Chapter Board of Trustees and is Chair of its Conservation and Public Policy Committee; a member of the Expect More Arizona Statewide Advisory Council; and a member of the Arizona Business & Education Coalition Board of Directors. She is an elected Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. Francis also is founding member and Co-Chair of Arizona State University Foundation’s Women & Philanthropy program; a member of the Arizona Women’s Forum; and a member of Charter 100.
Francis earned her B.A. in Chemistry at Oberlin College and her Ph.D. in Political Science from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. In addition to her leadership role with the Center for the Future of Arizona, Francis is a key partner to her husband, ASU President Michael Crow, in forging connections between ASU and the community.
Why does working at CFA support what you are passionate about professionally?
Arizona is the face of the future and it’s exciting to be part of an organization that is part of moving Arizona forward and advancing innovative solutions to the challenges we face.
Why do you love Arizona?
I really love to be able to go on beautiful hikes within minutes of where I live. I also love that Arizona is still open to new ideas and embodies the spirit of the west. If you have a good idea here and are willing to work hard to help advance it you can get it done.