About the SfAA


The Society for Applied Anthropology (SfAA) was founded in 1941 to promote the investigation of the principles of human behavior and the application of these principles to contemporary issues and problems. Since that time membership has expanded to over 2,000. The Society now sponsors two major journals (Human Organization and Practicing Anthropology) as well as a Monograph Series and occasional special publications. The Society has become the preeminent international organization in the field.

The Society is unique among professional associations. In membership and purpose, it represents the interests of professionals in a wide range of work settings -- academia, business, law, health and medicine, public and government, etc. Members come from a variety of disciplines -- anthropology, sociology, economics, business, planning, medicine, nursing, law, and other related social/behavioral sciences. The unifying factor is a commitment to the mission of our association - professionals from a variety of backgrounds who are making an impact on the quality of life in the world today.


Mission, Vision, Values, & Goals


The Society has for its object the promotion of interdisciplinary scientific investigation of the principles controlling the relations of human beings to one another, and the encouragement of the wide application of these principles to practical problems, and shall be known as The Society for Applied Anthropology.

Purpose & Vision

The Society for Applied Anthropology aspires to promote the integration of anthropological perspectives and methods in solving human problems throughout the world; to advocate for fair and just public policy based upon sound research; to promote public recognition of anthropology as a profession; and to support the continuing professionalization of the field. The Society pursues its mission and purpose by (1) communicating theories, research methods, results, and case examples through its publications and annual meetings; (2) recommending curriculum for the education of applied anthropologists and other applied social scientists at all levels; (3) promoting and conducting professional development programs; and (4) expressing its members' interests-- and anthropological approaches in general--to the public, government agencies, and other professional associations. Through these activities, the Society strives to be a premier professional organization for anthropologists and other applied social scientists, and with colleagues throughout the world.

Strategic Values & Directions

Over half a century ago, the founders of the Society for Applied Anthropology selected its name to signify the application of the principles, theories, methods and approaches of anthropology to the interdisciplinary identification and solution of human problems. Anthropologists demonstrate a particular capability in helping to solve human problems through building partnerships in research and problem solving; acknowledging the perspectives of all people involved; focusing on challenges and opportunities presented by biological variability, cultural diversity, ethnicity, gender, poverty and class; and addressing imbalances in resources, rights, and power. Such contributions are most effective in interdisciplinary settings where active and committed social scientists work in partnership with active and committed representatives of community, national, and international constituencies.

Influence on Policy

In order to affect policy at all levels, the Society must promote anthropological interests, tools, methods and insights with a very broad array of policy makers. Legislators, lobbyists, funders, government agencies, international organizations, nonprofit organizations, and community-based leaders are only a handful of actors in the policy arena with whom applied anthropology must interact. Through effective use of the media, press relations, conferences, products and other forms of dissemination, the Society should promote anthropology to the public and should facilitate training programs for members to work effectively with the press. Increasingly, the Society will use resources such as the Internet and SfAA Online Community to stimulate timely discussions of current policy related issues. By encouraging and supporting anthropologists to take leadership and decision making positions in public policy, the Society can influence policy decisions at all levels. The careful selection of the theme for the annual meeting is an important way to direct members' efforts to special issues.

Employment Opportunities

For the past two decades the majority of anthropologists have found employment outside of university settings. This is especially the case when anthropologists with the M.A. degree are taken into account. With the trends in electronic multimedia education and the decrease in tenured academic positions, an even larger percentage of both Ph.D. and M.A. educated anthropologists will be employed outside of academic positions in the upcoming decade. The Society must inspire academic and non-academically employed anthropologists to recognize the benefits in identifying themselves as "Professional Anthropologists." It can accomplish this by providing opportunities for sharing approaches, for testing and sharing new methods, and for disseminating these approaches to communities, institutions, and other professions.

Support of Professional Roles

The occupation of "Anthropologist" should be promoted as a satisfying, rewarding and important professional role whether as an independent consultant, an employee of public agencies, corporations, nonprofit organizations, or as a university faculty member or administrator. Successful professional roles and identities must be identified, promoted and strengthened. Exceptional role models and outstanding contributions are formally recognized through the Society's awards, such as the Malinowski Award, the Margaret Mead Award, and the Peter K. New Award, and through leadership opportunities offered by the society and its programs.


The Society must continue to form partnerships and collaborative agreements with Local Practitioner Organizations (LPOs), and organizations that employ anthropologists, especially organizations founded by and managed by anthropologists. The successes of these social support systems are vital to the employment and quality of life of its members. Educating potential employers about the skills anthropologists can offer is essential. In particular, we need to pursue the inclusion of "anthropologist" as an occupational title in employment classifications, associated with specific skill levels and qualifications.

New Recruits

Anthropology in the academy legitimizes the field in the eyes of the public, and it permits the identification, recruitment, training and promotion of new recruits. As entry points for socialization of new members into the profession, Universities support basic research, theory development, and cross-fertilization with other disciplines. With anthropology's historically close and interactive relationship between theoretical development and field work, new applied anthropologists must be trained to conduct work guided by theory, while at the same time to generate and test theories. As applied professionals, they must be able to contribute to building our understanding of culturally related behaviors on a broad comparative basis.

Broad-based Education & Training

This broad perspective draws upon an understanding of the linguistic, archeological, historical, biological, psychological, ecological, economic, technological, social and cultural dimensions of the human condition. For the future success of new members, the Society must continue to recommend the development, refinement, and integration of a curriculum necessary for an academic department to offer an "applied" track of study. 


Publications are important vehicles for building the foundation of knowledge, reporting on solutions to human problems, and addressing significant policy issues. Authors communicate to a nonmember the utility of our perspectives and to students who are possibly forming a commitment to applied social science. Publications provide a historical record of the field's development and accomplishments. We must continually search for alternative ways to communicate with our peers and the wider communities. The Society must continue to publish the highest quality journals, handbooks, guides, manuals, and educational videos in formats designed to appeal to interdisciplinary professionals. Human Organization must remain a leading refereed journal in the social sciences, and Practicing Anthropology must continue as the principal publication for practitioners. The SfAA Newsletter is an important mechanism for building support networks through communicating issues of interest to the Society, its committees, Topical Interest Groups (TIGS), and members.

International Commitments

Our origins and history reflect clearly our strong international perspectives and commitments. Anthropology can be promoted by fostering and supporting the development of other professional anthropological associations around the world. By scheduling annual meetings in international locations, these occasions can be used to strategically build interregional exchanges, collaborative research, and regional networks of applied social scientists. By increasing international membership, more programs and activities can be developed that remain independent of the economic and cultural policies of any one particular country.

Interdisciplinary Perspectives

It is critical that anthropological approaches to the solution of human problems are applied in conjunction with the point of view and expertise of colleagues from other disciplines. By its very nature the Society is interdisciplinary, even though it carries the word "Anthropology" in its name. The Society's members encompass the social sciences and other disciplines concerned with the application of scholarship to address practical problems in the world.

An Egalitarian Culture

The Society promotes a non-hierarchical approach that allows many people to participate in important organizational and intellectual leadership positions. The vision of the Society emphasizes the inclusion of all its constituents in its activities and operations. With the continued growth of membership, a challenge is to continue the annual meeting's informal and friendly atmosphere. Efforts must be made to facilitate small group interests, and to strategically focus members' efforts on priority issues. Recruitment of people into leadership positions within the organization should represent the diversity of its membership. Student representation, input, and services should become integral foci of the Society's work. Editorial boards of publications, annual meeting committees, and advisory committees must represent the full diversity of the membership.


Continuing into the future the management of the Society by the Executive Committee, Business Office, and committees will be a model of strategic management, operational efficiency and fiscal integrity. It will be recognized for its effective and appropriate use of electronic technology to communicate among the members, to distribute information and policy statements, and to efficiently conduct business functions.

Major Goals

It is with this mission, purpose, and vision, that the following nine major goals direct the Society's long-range planning activities:

1. To improve the capacity of the Society to respond to policy issues identified by the membership as particularly important.

2. To enhance the reputation of the Society's publications as leading repositories of applied knowledge, skills, and methods.

3. To advance anthropological perspectives through public outreach and effective media coverage.

4. To promote and expand services to various member constituencies, especially students at all levels and M.A. and Ph.D.-level professionals working outside of academia.

5. To expand the readership of the Society's printed and electronic publications.

6. To strengthen its international constituency and endeavors.

7. To increase the diversity of people encompassed within its activities, especially regarding the representation of ethnically under-represented groups.

8. To support and expand interdisciplinary networks, membership, and perspectives.

9. To advance the Society's capacity to serve its members, committees, and the discipline through contract, grants, and cooperative agreements with organizations committed to enhancing the quality of life in local communities.

(October 1999)


Statement of Ethics & Professional Responsibilities

This statement is a guide to professional behavior for the members of the Society for Applied Anthropology. As members or fellows of the society, we shall act in ways consistent with the responsibilities stated below irrespective of the specific circumstances of our employment.

1. To the peoples we study we owe disclosure of our research goals, methods, and sponsorship. The participation of people in our research activities shall only be on a voluntary basis. We shall provide a means through our research activities and in subsequent publications to maintain the confidentiality of those we study. The people we study must be made aware of the likely limits of confidentiality and must not be promised a greater degree of confidentiality than can be realistically expected under current legal circumstances in our respective nations. We shall, within the limits of our knowledge, disclose any significant risks to those we study that may result from our activities.

2. To the communities ultimately affected by our activities we owe respect for their dignity, integrity, and worth. We recognize that human survival is contingent upon the continued existence of a diversity of human communities, and guide our professional activities accordingly. We will avoid taking or recommending action on behalf of a sponsor which is harmful to the interests of the community.

3. To our social colleagues we have the responsibility to not engage in actions that impede their reasonable professional activities. Among other things, this means that, while respecting the needs, responsibilities, and legitimate proprietary interests of our sponsors we should not impede the flow of information about research outcomes and professional practice techniques. We shall accurately report the contributions of colleagues to our work. We shall not condone falsification or distortion by others. We should not prejudice communities or agencies against a colleague for reasons of personal gain.

4. To our students, interns, or trainees, we owe nondiscriminatory access to our training services. We shall provide training which is informed, accurate, and relevant to the needs of the larger society. We recognize the need for continuing education so as to maintain our skill and knowledge at a high level. Our training should inform students as to their ethical responsibilities. Student contributions to our professional activities, including both research and publication, should be adequately recognized.

5. To our employers and other sponsors we owe accurate reporting of our qualifications and competent, efficient, and timely performance of the work we undertake for them. We shall establish a clear understanding with each employer or other sponsor as to the nature of our professional responsibilities. We shall report our research and other activities accurately. We have the obligation to attempt to prevent distortion or suppression of research results or policy recommendations by concerned agencies.

6. To society as a whole we owe the benefit of our special knowledge and skills in interpreting sociocultural systems. We should communicate our understanding of human life to the society at large.



Statement on the Situation in Israel and Palestine

November 14, 2023

The Society for Applied Anthropology (SfAA) and the Human Rights and Social Justice Committee (HRSJ) express our deepest sorrow and concern about the tragic events occurring in Gaza and Israel and their impact on the Israeli and Palestinian people. Violence and now war are never acceptable solutions and are against the values we uphold. We stand by and respect the UN resolutions concerning this situation and share the call by many of our Israeli and Palestinian colleagues for an immediate release of hostages, exchanges of prisoners, and the ending of the humanitarian crises in Gaza.

This situation in Israel and Palestine has a long history.  It transcends borders and communities and requires a shared commitment to our collective humanity. We are witnessing an abundance of misinformation and polarizing events that fuel Islamophobia, antisemitism, and despair. We must reject these impulses and turn instead to compassion and our shared belief that we can create a just and peaceful world where all can flourish. 

The SfAA, as an international community of more than 2,000 members from a variety of disciplines – anthropology, sociology, economics, business, planning, medicine, nursing, law, and other related social/behavioral sciences – declares its commitment to maintain the resolve of its global membership, strengthen international dialogue, particularly with and among those of our colleagues who are affected by this war, make critical voices heard at our SfAA annual meetings, and facilitate the dissemination of critical analyses in its publications and scholarly events.

SfAA Statement on War Refugees

March 26, 2022

As we watch hundreds of thousands of people displaced from Ukraine, we, members of the Migration and International Dialogue Topical Interest Group of the Society for Applied Anthropology, at our March 22, 2022 meeting, expressed our fundamental human connection and concern for the MILLIONS of individuals and families who have to flee their homes due to hostilities.  The current situation reminds us of all those throughout the world who have been forced to flee their homelands as refugees and asylum seekers. Our professional engagements make us aware of the horrendous human cost of the situations that force people to flee their homelands and what little attention we often pay to multiple conflicts that displace people.  Many of us recall that we are immigrants, refugees, or the children of immigrants and refugees.  We want to remind all parties that refugees and asylum seekers are protected by international laws, treaties, and conventions that governments must acknowledge and honor, as well as by the most fundamental demands of human decency.

SfAA Statement on Global Violence, Systemic Racism, and Deep Inequities

June 5, 2020

We at the Society for Applied Anthropology are saddened and frustrated by the murder of George Floyd and many others. We are concerned about global violence, systemic racism, and deep inequities. The history and acts of racism can no longer be tolerated in our society and SfAA stands as ONE against it in any form. The fact that these types of events continue to happen in our world indicates that we still have a long way to go. As a professional society of applied social scientists committed to respect for human diversity, cultural understanding, and empowerment of all people, we repudiate all forms of hatred in our neighborhoods, communities, and world.

Stating our outrage is not enough. We must all do more to create a safe, just and inclusive world. We resolve to use action-oriented social science to catalyze change. Making change involves many things - personal and professional commitment, active listening, advocacy, teaching, training, policy work and more. Collaboration, grassroots and community-based efforts are key here. SfAA will continue to be a hub for meaningful conversation and sharing knowledge, resources and networks. All of this can and will contribute to social justice work in many different local and global contexts. 

At SfAA, we embrace this challenge to work for a more just and inclusive world. We will support our members and others in the following ways:

  • Applied research, on such topics as policing, labor rights, immigration, climate, education, and poverty

  • Advocacy about such issues as health disparities and health care reform in the context of COVID-19 

  • Teaching, about such issues as structural violence and systemic racism

  • Workshops to help people at different career moments build their “activist toolkits” – such as how to work with the media and do public advocacy; rapid responses using anthropological knowledge and skills in emergencies  

  • Building collaborative relationships with other professional organizations on human rights initiatives

  • Supporting student members doing important work on social justice with, for example, the Human Rights Defender Award

  • Ethical oversight over SfAA practices and how we interact with others

  • Ensuring our Society’s membership reflects global diversity

At the SfAA, we embrace this challenge to work for a more just and inclusive world. We look forward to collaborating and connecting applied social scientists and others to address the urgent and important challenges that lasting change demands. Let us work together to make a just world. 

Engaging Applied Social Scientists to Connect Worldwide: A Call for a Rapid Response Initiative for Action in Pandemic Times

April 14, 2020

Despite its human horror, disruptions to life as we know it, and uncertainty about the future, the current pandemic makes us realize the crucial relevance of global exchange:  we are all affected and in many domains of daily life, including communication.  Forced to forgo face-to-face annual meetings as pools of shared knowledge, we at the SfAA have learned that we can share much through virtual communication modes.  This experience might change our means of communication in the future.

For the SfAA, which considers itself an international society for the applied social sciences, the impact of the pandemic on current modes of communication and exchange are phenomenal:  virtual communication can allow for institutional and personal contacts with colleagues around the world, promote practices of social science application, and nurture cross-country collaboration in many forms.  By international, we refer not to US researchers working abroad but, rather, to networks of researchers between and within countries aiming to advance knowledge beyond their own locales of practice, as well as to communicate their own local approaches.   

The global scale of the current pandemic reminds us that we are all in this together. With the cancellation of our SfAA Annual Meeting, applied social scientists have been forced to forgo our usual rituals of connection and scholarly exchange. Yet, in the face of disruption and uncertainty, we have learned that we can communicate and connect with each other using virtual tools. For the SfAA, as an international society for the applied social sciences, this ‘turn’ to virtual communication represents an enormous opportunity to expand and strengthen our engagement with colleagues from around the world. This global engagement of applied social scientists is needed now more than ever, as a range of urgent and important challenges face people and communities around the world.

A recent virtual meeting of SfAA board members interested in promoting further internationalization arrived at consensus on the following statements:  

(1) That applied social science is diverse as it is grounded in local contexts; 

(2) That engaging many voices in multi-country dialogues will amplify knowledge as we learn from each other beyond this diversity;

 (3) That international dialogue will help advance the production, use and dissemination of knowledge, both in general and grounded in local contexts; and 

(4) That this type of engagement will result in actions geared at influencing policy-making both locally and world-wide.   

In short, by doing what we know how to do, we will be best able to contribute to facing the pandemic and its economic, social and political consequences, while strengthening applied social science in the world. 


Our world has changed, and we are all implicated in global future-making.  We propose to host and/or facilitate international dialogues, including:

·   Use SfAA as a networking platform to identify colleagues working in diverse settings as applied anthropologists

·    Connect with these colleagues to strengthen the international base and activities of SfAA, and encourage more colleagues to participate in SfAA

·    Propose, support and hold webinars, promoted by SfAA, to engage applied anthropologists in and outside the US

·    Engage and coordinate activities with SfAA TIGs and partnering organizations with deep interest and expertise in these areas

·    Solicit and prepare articles for all SfAA publications and virtual platforms on experiences in diverse settings

·    Develop other ways to work together to connect applied social scientists worldwide.

Statement on Violence in Charlottesville, Virginia

August 15, 2017

The Society for Applied Anthropology strongly condemns the violence generated by racist hate groups in Charlottesville, VA. The values of SfAA include dignity, integrity, and worth of all peoples. We reaffirm our ongoing commitment to value human diversity in all its myriad forms, and we endorse the strong statement below issued by Ken Kimmell, President of the Union of Concerned Scientists:

“The racist rallies and bloodshed in Charlottesville this weekend are an echo of the darkest moments in American history. Extremists took to the streets in support of a racist and authoritarian ideology. Now, we have a duty to speak out against that ideology and its consequences. The bigotry and violence that threatened Charlottesville is unacceptable. 

The torches, the chants, the weapons and the violence on display by these white supremacists were meant to send a message. They say to black and Latino communities, to immigrants and to religious minorities: you are not safe here, you do not belong here. Our leaders, and all of civil society, need to be loud and clear as they reject that message. We must stand in solidarity with those targeted by the forces of bigotry that rose in Charlottesville. We need to be on the side of equity, inclusion and justice, not racism and terror. …”

According to its founding principles of using social science knowledge and methods for the well-being for all of humanity in its diversity and fostering cross-cultural and racial understanding, the Society for Applied Anthropology strongly condemns the violent demonstrations held in Charllotteville, Virginia, USA. Such hate filled rhetoric and action directed against minorities in American Society should not be tolerated and we as social scientists will continue in our work to combat it.

Alexander (Sandy) Ervin
Society for Applied Anthropology

SfAA Statement on Diversity and Respect

November 19, 2016

We as members of the Board of the Society for Applied Anthropology affirm our ongoing commitment to value human diversity in all its myriad forms and to encourage all of our members to provide safety and basic human rights for everyone. 

Anthropological perspective and practice are grounded in respect for all persons, civility, and thoughtful examination of ideas and policies.  It is especially critical at times of uncertainty and change.

We recognize a common responsibility to support community members who may feel threatened and to counter hostility toward immigrants and other marginalized groups.

We pledge to continue to exercise and guard academic freedoms to examine and address such issues as perpetuation of inequalities and policies that oppress or degrade.We urge involvement of everyone in learning and working together to create positive social change, promote humane understandings, and encourage a variety of shared actions to further these goals.

SfAA Statement on Concealed Carry Laws

March 30, 2016

The SfAA is deeply concerned about the impact of recent Concealed Carry laws on freedom of expression in university classrooms and other settings. These laws allow licensed handgun carriers to bring concealed handguns into buildings on campuses. Our society is concerned that Concealed Carry laws undermine academic freedom and the teaching and research missions of universities, and that they introduce serious safety threats on college campuses with a resulting harmful effect on students, faculty and staff. 

Please tell us what you think about "concealed carry" on college and university campuses. http://community.sfaa.net/profiles/blogs/sfaa-resolution-on-concealed-weapons

Resolution on Commitment to Safe and Equitable Work and Educational Conditions

December 22, 2015

Recent attention to gender discrimination and sexual harassment in the sciences, including the social sciences, reminds us of the importance of adhering to standards of ethical and professional behavior. Our Code of Ethics specifically states that:

To our social colleagues we have the responsibility to not engage in actions that impede their reasonable professional activities.

To our students, interns, or trainees, we owe nondiscriminatory access to our training services. 

These responsibilities are inclusive of a commitment to providing safe and equitable environments for anthropological, and more broadly social scientific, inquiry and work. Experts in the fields of gender discrimination and sexual harassment offer presentations at the Society’s annual meetings and publish in the Society’s journals. We encourage members who are interested in learning more about ways of promoting safe and equitable work and educational conditions to reach out to other Society members for information, consultation, and referrals. The Society sponsors a Topic Interest Group devoted to the study of gender-based violence, and Society members are encouraged to contact the Gender-Based Violence Topical Interest Group for 1) scholarship related to gender discrimination and sexual harassment and/or 2) instructional material to support accessible work and educational settings for all. 

Therefore, be it resolved that the Society for Applied Anthropology is committed to supporting and encouraging safe and equitable work and educational conditions for our members.



(Amended 2024)

Article I

Name and Mission 

The Society shall be known as the Society for Applied Anthropology, A Worldwide Organization for the Applied Social Sciences. 

The mission of the Society shall be the promotion of the interdisciplinary scientific investigation of the principles influencing the relations of human beings to one another, and the encouragement of the wide application of these principles to practical problems.

Article II


Section 2.1.  Membership Categories: The Society shall consist of Sustaining Members, Fellow Members, Regular Members, and Student Members.  Joint and Emeritus status is offered to Regular Members and Fellows.  Sustaining status is offered to Fellows.

2.1.1.  Regular Members shall consist of all persons who pay stipulated dues, as determined by the Board of Directors, to the offices of the Society each year, for which they are entitled to vote on issues concerning the composition, the purposes and the commitments of the Society, and the right to participate in all activities of the Society except holding elective office.

2.1.2.  Student Members are persons enrolled in undergraduate or graduate programs who pay stipulated dues, as determined by the Board of Directors, to the offices of the Society each year, for which they are entitled to receive those official publications of the Society as determined by the Board of Directors, and the right to vote on issues concerning the composition, the purposes and the commitments of the Society, and the right to participate in all activities of the Society. Students are not eligible to serve in an elected position except that one position on the Board of Directors is reserved for a Student Member. 

2.1.3.  Fellows shall be limited to those who have demonstrated advanced competence in research and/or application of behavioral science in contemporary societies. This competence may be demonstrated by having been trained in the field of anthropology or other social sciences, or in related fields, or by professional experience.  

Candidates for membership as Fellows of the Society may be proposed in writing by a Fellow of the Society, by nomination by the Board of Directors, or by self nomination.  Proposals for such membership shall be submitted to and acted upon by the Board of Directors.  Majority approval by the Board of Directors shall constitute election to Fellowship membership.

Fellows shall pay stipulated dues, as determined by the Board of Directors, to the Business Office of the Society each year, for which they shall be entitled to receive regular issues of the official publications of the Society, and the right to vote on issues concerning the composition, the purposes and the commitments of the Society.

Fellows whose dues are a year or more in arrears may be reinstated as Fellows when they begin to pay their dues again.

Fellows may hold elected office. 

2.1.4.  Joint Member Status:  Regular members and Fellows who share the same postal address may apply for Joint Membership status. They receive one copy of all publications.  Both Joint Members shall enjoy all other privileges of members in the category for which they qualify. 

2.1.5.  Emeritus Member Status:  Regular Members and Fellows are eligible for Emeritus status at age 65 or upon retirement, whichever comes later.  They shall be granted Emeritus status upon applying in writing to the offices of the Society.  They shall enjoy all of the other privileges of members in the category for which they qualify. 

2.1.6.  Sustaining Fellows Status:  Fellows of the Society may elect to pay dues at a higher level, determined by the Board of Directors, in order support lower dues for other member categories.  Fellows who choose to do this are recognized as Sustaining Fellows. 

Section 2.2.  Dues:  Annual dues for all membership categories shall be set by the Board of Directors.

2.2.1.  The Dues for a joint membership shall be less than those for two separate memberships combined.

2.2.2.  Dues for Emeritus members shall not exceed three quarters of the rate they would pay for their membership category (Regular Members or Fellows) 

Article Ill

Society Governance

Section 3.1.  There shall be a Board of Directors, which shall serve as the governing body of the Society. It shall consist of the officers, six members-at-large who shall be Fellows of the Society and who shall be elected by the members for staggered terms of three years, and one Student member who shall be elected by the members for a term of two years. Appointed members of the Board of Directors shall include the editors of regular publications as ex-officio members and the Treasurer as a voting member.

3.1.1.  Duties: The Board of Directors shall have responsibility for the affairs of the Society as delegated by the Members.  The duties shall include: 

• Selecting and monitoring the Society’s Business Office contractor to assure that the approved policies and procedures are being followed for maintaining the books, for the receipt and expenditure of monies, and for management of other assets and liabilities. 

• Approving an annual budget for Society operations.

• Selecting a Program Chairperson and confirming a Program Committee for planning the Annual Meeting program. 

• Appointing standing or special committees and Topical Interest Groups as necessary.

• Establishing awards and prizes.

• Appointing publication editors and approving associate and advisory editors. 

• Maintaining a Procedures Manual to specify details of the Society's governance that are not referenced in these Bylaws, including a policy regarding Conflict of Interest.  In the absence of mention in the Procedures Manual, the Board shall abide by Roberts Rules of Order.  In the absence of Bylaws or Procedures Manual instructions for propriety procedures, the Society shall abide by Roberts Rules of Order. 

3.1.2.  Meetings: The Board of Directors shall meet on call of the President or any two of its members, as often as the interests of the Society may require, and shall meet at least twice a year. In between regular meetings, the Board may hold meetings electronically to discuss and act on Society business.  The Board of Directors shall keep a record of its meetings.  Members who are unable to participate in Board meetings may provide their proxy vote to another member of the Board.  

Section 3.2.  Officers

3.2.1.  President/Vice President:  The President shall be elected by the membership and shall serve the Society for a total of 4 years.  In the first year after election, the President-elect shall serve as Vice President, working collaboratively with the sitting President; during the next 2 years he or she shall serve as President; during the final year, the President shall become the Past President and serve as Vice President once again, working collaboratively with the incoming President.  

The President shall serve as chairperson of the Board of Directors.  The President shall have powers and authorities usually vested in the President of a professional association.  These duties and responsibilities of the President shall include: 

• Calling meetings of the Board of Directors.

• Presiding over Board Meetings and the Annual Business Meeting.

• Appointing members to standing and special committees, with approval by the Officers.

• Other duties as the Board of Directors may direct. 

In the event of absence or disability of the President, the Vice President shall perform the duties of the President.

3.2.2.  Secretary: The Secretary shall be elected by the membership and shall serve a term of 3 years.  The duties and responsibility of the Secretary shall include:

• Keeping a record of all meetings and deliberations of the Board of Directors and of the Business Meeting of the members.

• Developing the agenda for meetings of the Board.

• Coordinating electronic communication among board members and preparing items for Board vote in between board meetings. 

• The Secretary shall tally Board votes and report the results to the Board.

In the absence of the Secretary, secretarial duties may be discharged by a Secretary pro tempore to be appointed by the Board of Directors.

3.2.3.  Treasurer:  The Treasurer shall be appointed by the Board of Directors and serve a term of 3 years.  The duties and responsibilities of the Treasurer include: 

• Manage the Accounts of the Society and shall oversee the collection of funds and disbursements under the direction of the Board of Directors. 

• Upon request, render a written statement at any meeting of the Board of Directors showing the financial condition of the Society.

• Ensure that proper books are maintained of the accounts showing all sums received by or due to the Society and all sums paid by or due from the Society and its other assets and liabilities. The books shall at all times be subject to inspection by the Board of Directors and Society members. 

• Have such power with respect to the oversight of financial matters, as the Board of Directors shall confer.

Section 3.3.  Annual Business Meeting:  There shall be an annual Business Meeting of the membership.

3.3.1.  Purpose:  The Annual Business Meeting is held for the purpose of providing an update about Society business to the members, discussion of policies and issues of concern to the Society, and providing time for members to bring issues to the attention of the Society. 

3.3.2.  Quorum:  Occasionally the Board may request a vote of the General Membership during the Annual Business Meeting.  A quorum for such a vote shall consist of 2% of the voting membership. 

Article IV


Section 4.1.  Committees (General):  Members may participate in Society business by serving voluntarily on Committees that are established by and report to the Board of Directors.   There shall be Standing Committees that are permanent components of the Society, and there may be Special Committees that are convened to address special projects or topics.   The purview of the Committees and terms of appointment shall be approved by the Board of Directors (see 3.1.1).  

Committee members and Chairs shall be appointed by the President, with concurrence of the officers of the Society. 

Section 4.2.  Standing Committees shall include: 

• Publications Committee

• Oral History Committee

• Human Rights and Social Justice Committee

• Student Committee

• Committees to manage the various Society awards, including the New, Malinowski, Mead, Kearney, Tax, Hackenberg, Spicer, Smith, and Kushner awards and any other awards that are conferred regularly by the Society. 

Section 4.3.  Special Committees may be convened by the Board of Directors to address specific topics or issues. 

Section 4.4.  Topical Interest Groups:  Members with a shared topical interest may form Topical Interest Groups (TIGs) for the purpose of providing a forum for and communication mechanism among themselves and with the greater Society membership.  The Board of Directors shall approve the establishment of all TIGs.

Section 4.5.  Advisory Council of Past Presidents

Past Presidents of the Society, chaired by the penultimate Past President, shall constitute an advisory council.  

Article V

Society Management

Section 5.1.  The Society may contract with a professional management firm to operate the Business Office and day-to-day affairs of the organization. 

Section 5.2.  The Board of Directors shall be responsible for choosing a management firm and overseeing the activities of the Business Office.

Section 5.3.  The Business Office shall maintain close communications with the Board of Directors and submit a formal report to the Board at lease two times per year.  

Article VI

Nominations and Elections

Section 6.1.  Nominations and Elections Committee:

The Nominations and Elections Committee shall consist of three Fellows who shall be elected one each year for staggered terms of three years.

6.1.1.  Duties and Responsibilities:  The Nominations and Elections Committee shall be responsible for coordinating the election of the Society’s elected officials.  Their duties include:

• Soliciting nominees for all elected positions (President, Secretary, Student Board member, at-large Board members, and Nominations and Elections Committee members) from the Board and from the membership at large. 

• Reviewing and considering all nominations and announcing a slate of at least two candidates for each vacancy along with an announcement stating that the Nominations and Elections Committee will accept additional nominations, seconded by .5 percent of the Members of the Society as counted at the close of the last fiscal year, for a period of six weeks.

• Preparing a final ballot to be presented to the membership.

• Tallying the results of the balloting and reporting to the Board of Directors.

Section 6.2.  Conduct of Elections

6.2.1.  Format:  Elections may be conducted by secure electronic format or by paper ballot.

6.2.2.  Eligibility of Candidates: Candidates for elected office must be Fellows of the Society (see Section 2.1.3.), with the exception that one Student member shall be elected to the Board of Directors.  All candidates must affirm in writing a willingness and ability to devote to the affairs of the Society such time as is necessary to the effective execution of the office. 

6.2.3.  Eligibility of Voters:  All individual and joint members who have paid dues to the Society by July 1 are eligible to vote. 

6.2.4.  Ballots:  Ballots, paper or electronic, will be mailed to paid members by September 15 of each year.  Information describing the qualifications of each candidate shall be provided.

6.2.5.  Voting:  Eligible voters will have at least 2 weeks to return a ballot. 

6.2.6.  Tallying of Ballots:  Ballots will be tallied by the Nominations and Elections Committee prior to the Fall Board meeting. 

6.2.7.  Reporting:  The Nominations and Elections Committee shall submit a formal report to the Board of Directors prior to the annual Fall Board meeting.  

Article VII


Section 7.1.  Scope:  The Society may publish regular journals and newsletters, and other occasional publications such as monographs and books.

Section 7.2.  Editors:  There shall be Editors, appointed by the Board of Directors, for all official publications of the Society.

7.2.1.  Editors of regular Society publications shall have charge of the respective publication and may appoint such associate and advisory editors as they see fit to obtain material for publication and otherwise to collaborate in the conduct of the publications.

7.2.2.  The appointment of associate and advisory editors shall be subject to confirmation by the Board of Directors

7.2.3.  Editorial assistants paid or unpaid, may be employed by the Editors, and shall be subject to the approval of the Board of Directors.

7.2.4.  Editors of regular publications shall provide a report to the Board two times per year. The report shall include a summary of editorial activities, identification of any management problems encountered, and any requests for Board action. 

Section 7.3.  Subscriptions

7.3.1.  Members:  Members are entitled to receive all Society publications and have access to the digital library of back issues of regular publications.  Student members will receive those official publications that the Board determines. 

7.3.2.  Institutional and Individual Subscribers to publications shall consist of all organizations or individuals who pay stipulated subscription fees, as determined by the Board of Directors, to the offices of the Society each year, for which they are entitled to receive the regular issues of the publications to which they subscribe and access to the digital library of those publications, but no other benefits of Society membership.

Article VIII

Revising and Amending the Bylaws

Amendments to the Bylaws may be proposed by the Board of Directors and must be ratified by a majority of members voting by electronic or paper ballot.

Article IX

Conflict of Interest

The Society shall maintain and enforce a conflict of interest policy to avoid any unlawful personal benefit to directors, officers, committee members or other members when they provide service to the organization.

Officers & Board

Officers & Board of Dircetors


Jennifer R. Wies (2023-2025)
Department of Anthropology
Eastern Kentucky University

Past President
Michael Paolisso (2023-2024)
Department of Anthropology
University of Maryland

Gemmae Fix (2022-2025)
School of Public Health
Boston University

Carla Guerron Montero (2023-2026)
Department of Anthropology
University of Delaware



Hedda Askland (2026)
Department of Anthropology
University of Newcastle

Michael Duke (2024)
School of Medicine
University of California, San Francisco

David Himmelgreen (2026)
Department of Anthropology
University of South Florida

Teresa R. Johnson (2025)
School of Marine Sciences
University of Maine

Sherilyne Jones (2024)
Department of Anthropology
University of South Florida

Amy Paul-Ward (2024)
College of Nursing and Health Sciences
Florida International University

Nathaniel (Niel) Tashima (2025)
LTG Associates

Past Presidents

Past Presidents

2017-2019 Alexander Ervin 1972-1973 Clifford Barnett
2015-2017 Kathleen Musante 1971-1972 Philleo Nash
2013-2015 Robert Alvarez 1970-1971 Lambros Comitas
2011-2013 Merrill Eisenberg 1969-1970 Charles Hughes
2009-2011 Allan Burns 1968-1969 Vera Rubin
2007-2009 Susan L. Andreatta 1967-1968 Conrad Arensberg
2005-2007 Donald D. Stull 1966-1967 John Adair
2003-2005 Linda M. Whiteford 1965-1966 Omer Stewart
2001-2003 Noel Chrisman 1964-1965 William F. Whyte
1999-2001 Linda Bennett 1963-1964 Ward H. Goodenough
1997-1999 John A. Young 1962-1963 Richard N. Adams
1995-1997 Jean Schensul 1961-1962 Homer G. Barnett
1993-1995 J. Anthony Paredes 1960-1961 John Bennett
1991-1993 Carole E. Hill 1959-1960 John Gillin
1989-1991 Thomas Greaves 1958-1959 C.W.M. Hart
1987-1989 Erve Chambers 1957-1958 Nicholas J. Demarath
1985-1987 Theodore E. Downing 1956-1957 Gordon MacGregor
1983-1985 Sue-Ellen Jacobs 1955-1956 Charles R. Walker
1982-1983 Harland Padfield 1954-1955 Horace Miner
1981-1982 Willis E. Sibley 1953-1954 Felix Keesing
1980-1981 Peter Kong-ming New 1952-1953 Solon Kimball
1979-1980 John Singleton 1951-1952 F.L.W. Richardson
1978-1979 Alvin W. Wolfe 1950-1951 Everett Hughes
1977-1978 Art Gallaher, Jr. 1949-1950 Margaret Mead
1976-1977 Thomas Weaver 1948-1949 Charles Loomis
1975-1976 Murray Wax 1946-1948 George Murdock
1974-1975 Nanci Gonzalez 1943-1946 John Provinse
1973-1974 Margaret Lantis 1942-1943 Conrad Arensberg
    1941-1942 Eliot Chapple

Staff Directory

Annual Meeting and Awards Coordinator

Annual Meeting Coordinator Don StullDonald D. Stull, Ph.D., MPH

Don Stull is professor emeritus of anthropology at the University of Kansas, where he taught from 1975 to 2015. His research and writing focus on the meat and poultry industry in North America, rural industrialization and rapid growth communities, industrial agriculture’s impact on farmers, processing workers, and rural communities. A fellow of the Society for Applied Anthropology since 1973, he has been a sustaining fellow for many years. Don was program chair of the 1989 annual meeting in Santa Fe and served on the SfAA executive committee from 1990-1993 as chair of the Membership Committee. He was editor-in-chief of Human Organization from 1999 through 2004 and SfAA president in 2005-2007. In 2009 the Society for Applied Anthropology honored him with its Sol Tax Distinguished Service Award. Don and his wife Laura divide their time between Lawrence, Kansas, and his hometown of Sebree, Kentucky.

Office Manager

Office Manager Trish ColvinTrish Colvin

Trish began working for the Society in October 2005.  She and her husband Jeremy have one son and they live in Mustang, OK.  Trish is a native Oklahoman and is passionate about baking, crafts and interior design.

Annual Meeting Program Administrator

Annual Meeting Administrator Melissa CopeMelissa Cope

Melissa began working for the Society in May 2003.  She and her husband Chris have one daughter now attending college at the University of Central Oklahoma. Melissa is a native Oklahoman and an avid sports fan. She enjoys watching Oklahoma State University football and West Ham United Soccer as well as hockey.

Publications Copy Editor

Publications Copy Editor Lori BuckwalterLori Buckwalter

Lori began working for the Society in May 2004. Lori is a graduate of Southern Nazarene University, where she earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Marketing. Lori works remotely from Saint Louis, Missouri, and enjoys spending time with her husband and three young sons.

©Society for Applied Anthropology 

P.O. Box 2436 • Oklahoma City, OK 73101 • 405.843.5113 • info@appliedanthro.org