AJ Faas.jpgA. J. Faas, Ph.D.

San José State University

Candidate Statement for SfAA President

My objective as SfAA President would be to support the innovative work of applied social scientists working in a range of professional contexts and in various stages of training. I would work to foster the growth and development of SfAA as a robust, inclusive, and accessible organization that prepares and supports future generations of applied social scientists. This would entail new creating new initiatives for recruitment, mentoring, and pathways to service and leadership—ones that are especially focused on broadening diversity, striving for equity, and cultivating inclusion, belonging, and accessibility in our organization. I am further concerned to make SfAA and its membership more accessible to the public and partner organizations and to support and expand the roles of topical interest groups in growing and sustaining the association. I would draw on my experience as a scholar and applied anthropologist—and past service on association boards—to help envision and operationalize new directions for SfAA. 

I have been an active member of SfAA since 2005, when I was a graduate student, and since then the association has played a critical role in my work as an applied scholar. In addition to regularly contributing to the Annual Meetings for nearly two decades, the SfAA was the context in which I discovered a network of applied social scientists interested in the hard problems of disasters, displacement, and resettlement, and with whom I am happy to have built a lasting community. I was fortunate to be one of the founding members of the Risk and Disasters Topical Interest Group (TIG) and to serve as its co-chair for 2014 and 2015. I have since served the SfAA as a member of the Board of Directors (2018-2022), as Annual Meeting Program Chair (2023-2024), and on the Program Committee (2014-2015, 2016-2017). In 2014, I proposed a partnership with the U.S. Department of the Interior's Strategic Sciences Group (SSG), a program to deploy multidisciplinary, rapid-response teams of applied scholars to advise policy makers and practitioners during ongoing environmental crises, for which I currently serve as a liaison. I am also a regular contributor to Human OrganizationPracticing Anthropology, and SfAA News. In addition, I have served as Program Section Chair for the Society for Economic Anthropology (2019-2023) and as President (2016-2018) and Vice President and Program Chair (2015-2016) of the Southwestern Anthropological Association. This has provided me with a great deal of experience serving professional associations in a variety of capacities. And finally, I have mentored and supported dozens of students and early career practitioners and scholars at SfAA over the years. Ultimately, my service is guided by principles of justice, care, and strategic servant leadership. It would be my honor to work on behalf of SfAA members to further the important goals of this organization.

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