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This month we’ll take a look at the candidates.
Featured today are the candidates for the Committee on Public Policy Undesignated Seat #2: Susan Coutin and Francis MacManamon.
Committee member responsibilities include:
To encourage sections and interest groups to develop policy-related activities that focus on particular areas of interest to their members, such as by interacting with section leadership and visiting business meetings, without infringing on the autonomy of these units;
To enhance communication and cooperation between sections, interest groups, other elected committees, task forces, the AAA Public Affairs Office, and other parts of the AAA on policy issues that cross-cut particular domains, thereby encouraging links among their individual efforts. A key mechanism for realizing this goal is working with sections, interest groups, task forces, other AAA committees, and the AAA staff in organizing events for the AAA Annual Meeting, such as policy forums, particularly those that highlight issues that cross-cut specific policy domains;
To enhance the visibility of anthropological contributions to public policy to audiences outside the AAA, including by creating opportunities for AAA members to enter into policy debates as well as to bring policy makers to AAA annual meetings and other sites in which they can interact with anthropologists;
To provide models for AAA members and units of effective participation in public policy, such as by placing examples of effective policy interventions on the COPP Web site and in contributions to Anthropology News and helping organize AAA sessions in which members reflect on their policy interventions and sponsor workshops and other events in which AAA members can gain relevant skills
Click here to learn more about the Committee on Public Policy.
Having been president of the Association for Political and Legal Anthropology from 2011-2013, I am committed to discovering new ways that anthropological findings can be communicated in ways that impact policy decisions. The 2012 APLA business meeting featured a discussion of the forms that public anthropology can take in the current political climate, as well as career panels focusing on both academic and practicing careers. At the 2013 AAA meeting, APLA also sponsored a workshop on genres of public writing, and I participated in a public policy forum on U.S. immigration detention and deportation. My own research examines U.S. immigration policy and I have adopted an engaged approach by collaborating with legal service providers while doing fieldwork. On my own campus (UC Irvine), I was the founding director of the UCI Center for Law, Society and Culture, so I have experience organizing workshops and colloquia, and I am also Associate Dean of the Graduate Division, a position that enables me to publicize the public impact of doctoral students’ research. If elected to the American Anthropological Association’s Committee on Public Policy, I will work to enhance our members’ abilities to articulate the policy implications of their research in ways that bring anthropological work to new audiences.
I have worked throughout my professional career for public agencies, first at the state-level and then for over thirty years for the National Park Service at regional and national levels. The development and implementation of public policies related to anthropological, archaeological, and cultural heritage issues was a common and important aspect of the jobs that I held. It is important for anthropological and archaeological knowledge and perspectives to be reflected and well-regarded in the activities and policies of public agencies. I have dealt with career administrators, descendent communities, experts in other disciplines, political appointees, and representative of various interest groups throughout my career. These experiences provide me with a broad perspective on how public policy is shaped, what policies are likely to be effective, and how positive policy results are achieved. Clearly, anthropological and archaeological knowledge and perspectives have much to contribute to public policy. Both the humanistic and scientific perspectives and aspects of this knowledge are important. In order to have the greatest positive benefit, they must be applied appropriately and with care. I believe that my knowledge, professional experience, skills, and ability will assist the members and staff of AAA in promoting the effective use of anthropology and archaeology in public policies.
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