Nancy J. Schafer
Former first lady of North Dakota Nancy Jones Schafer is passionate about her commitment to family, community and church—and her love of music. Schafer holds a bachelor’s degree in music education from Concordia College, Moorhead, Minnesota. She is a native of Turner, Montana, where she grew up on a farm and ranch operation. She was active in her community through 4-H, church and volunteer activities and was hired as the pianist for her church starting at age 14. Even before her tenure as North Dakota’s first lady, Schafer consistently displayed her role as a leader throughout her adult life. She held offices in First Lutheran Church of Fargo, PEO, Junior League and PTA. She also served full terms on the National Alumni Association Board of Directors and Board of Regents for Concordia College and the Board of Trustees for the University of Mary, Bismarck, North Dakota.
Schafer’s work experience includes positions as a public elementary school music teacher and in property management for private investors, and she served as the executive director for the Fargo-Moorhead Symphony. In her role as first lady, she was an integral part of the Schafer Administration heading up initiatives for women’s and children’s health issues, drug and tobacco prevention, mental health issues and the promotion of the arts. Schafer holds an honorary doctorate degree from the University of Mary, Bismarck, North Dakota, in recognition for her tireless efforts and dedicated service as a servant leader across North Dakota and the nation. She also serves on the Community Advisory Board for US Bank and the Boards of Directors for the Police Officers Jail Chaplains Association and iKeepSafe—an international coalition dedicated to teaching children the safe and healthy use of technology and the internet.
Nancy Schafer and her husband, Ed, reside in Fargo, North Dakota, and have four children and nine grandchildren.