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Members’ Programmatic, Advisory, and Advocacy Committee (MPAAC)



The Members’ Programmatic, Advisory and Advocacy Committee (M-PAAC) is convened by the Executive Board for the purpose of responding to AAA member needs and interests, with a particular focus on the key areas of ethics, human rights, labor and workforce, public policy, anti-racism and social justice, gender equity, the practicing-applied-public sector, and world anthropologies as these areas relate to anthropology, anthropologists and the Association.

In keeping with the values of collaboration, dialogue, diversity, equity, solidarity and transparency, the committee is responsible for the implementation of the Association’s education, advocacy and advisory program related to Anthropology and each of the following ongoing issues and engagements:

  • Ethics
  • Human Rights
  • Labor and work force
  • Public Policy
  • Anti-Racism and Social Justice
  • Gender equity
  • Practicing, Applied and Public Sector
  • Internationalization

Duration of Committee


Term of Office

3-year terms

Committee Reports to

The Executive Board


  • Foster collaborations and work in coalition with other organizations, both internally and externally, on specific issues relevant to the committee charge;
  • Identify and work together with the Executive Board and AAA staff to carry out projects and ongoing tasks via the Committee, a working group, task force, or some other entity as outlined in Strategic Implementation Plan (SIP).
  • Assist in organizing fora, sessions, workshops or other events at AAA Annual Meetings on any or all of the above identified issues of engagement as needed;
  • Use AAA communication mechanisms for knowledge exchange, information and education (e.g., AN columns, blog, social media) on any or all of the above focus areas; disseminate to relevant audiences (e.g., members, policy makers);
  • Foster professional advancement of and collaboration with U.S. racialized minority anthropologists; practicing, applied and public anthropologists; international anthropologists, and other constituents as identified.
  • Devote appropriate time and effort to the duties of the Committee.

Membership and Appointment

The committee is both member-focused and, public-oriented. The committee is responsible for the design and implementation of the Association’s ethics, rights, and status education and advisory, both internally with the membership of the AAA and externally with the people and groups with whom anthropologists work. AAA Member and Public-Oriented programs and projects are articulated and prioritized through dialogue. Task forces and working groups are created as needed to respond to M-PAAC priorities, determined in consultation with the Strategic Implementation Plan (SIP).

22-member committee including the Chairs and EB Liaison (if appointed)
1 overall chair
2 subcommittee chairs, one of which is the President-Elect.
18 appointed members
1 EB liaison if appointed.

  • 18 members are appointed by the AAA President, with 2 designated seats for each area:
  • The two student members will be appointed for their commitment to work closely with MPAAC in the committee’s chosen areas of action and advocacy.
  • Chair is appointed by President, rotating representation from subfield and interest areas
  • President-Elect serves as one of the sub-committee Chairs and the other is appointed by the President either from the Executive Board or from within M-PAAC.
  • 1 additional EB Liaison in addition to the President-Elect will also be appointed if needed
  • President serves as ex-officio
  • A AAA staff member serves as liaison.

If members are unable to devote appropriate time relative to the delegated tasks and fail to perform the duties of the Committee, the AAA Executive Board may remove a member from the position by a 2/3 vote of the EB.


Develop reports, policy statements, and recommend actions to Executive Board. A written report to the Executive Board. Committees will include comments on issues and/or recommendations to the Executive Board in one of their annual reports to the Executive Board. These might be problems in fulfilling group objectives and responsibilities or in fulfilling tasks listed in the SIP, the need for additional resources, recommended changes to the group charge (objectives, responsibilities, products/outcomes), and recommended changes to the committee structure or membership.

Meetings and Schedule

In person once a year at the annual meeting and via conference call as needed.

Staff Liaisons and Contact Information

Kim Baker gro.orhtnanacirema@rekabk



Susan Mazur-Stommen


Whitney Battle-Baptiste

Thurka Sangaramoorthy

Areas of Engagement

Anti-Racism and Social Justice

Focus: Advance issues and concerns as professionals and as a professional association on issue of import to U.S. racialized people and communities in anthropology. Attract racialized and underrepresented people and communities and retain them in the discipline and the Association. Promote intellectual awareness within the discipline and Association of issues that face racialized and underrepresented anthropologists with an emphasis on Anti-Black racism. Help define anthropology’s role in U.S. discourses on racism.

Layla Brown

World Anthropologies

Focus: Identify significant issues that are shared among anthropologists from different nations. Develop clear objectives for drawing US and international anthropologists together in ways that benefit anthropology globally. Engage a diversity of international voices and perspectives and involve both academic and applied anthropologists in this endeavor. Get more information at the World Anthropologies Hub.

Robert Barrios

Emily Metzner

Practicing/Applied Anthropology

Focus: To explore and engage the range of issues that have emerged or are emerging as a result of the increasing employment of anthropologists outside of the academy doing work as practicing anthropologists, applied anthropologists, and anthropologists in the public sector.

Nazia Hussain

Ken Anderson


Focus: To increase the number of candidates for all degrees in anthropology receiving training in ethics before graduating; to provide ongoing education in ethical issues for all AAA members; to provide advice to AAA members facing/raising ethical dilemmas, and to provide guidance to the Executive Board about AAA codes and guidelines. Learn more about ethics at AAA.

Jayne Howell

Kerry Fosher

Human Rights

Focus: To promote and protect human rights; to expand the definition of human rights within an anthropological perspective; to work internally with the membership of the AAA, to educate anthropologists, and to mobilize their support for human rights; to work externally with foreign colleagues, the people and groups with whom anthropologists work, and other human rights organizations to develop an anthropological perspective on human rights and consult with them on human rights violations and the appropriate actions to be taken; to influence and educate the media, policymakers, non-governmental organizations, and decision-makers in the private sector; to encourage research on all aspects of human rights from conceptual to applied. Get more information at the Human Rights Hub.

Sonia Chinn

Chandana Mathur

Public Policy

Focus: To enhance the participation of AAA entities and members in the area of public policy and the visibility of contributions by anthropologists.

Robert Hahn

Alayne Unterberger

Gender Equity

Focus: Monitor the status of gender equity in the discipline and the American Anthropological Association. Advise the Executive Board on the status of gender equity in the discipline and the Association to educate members.

Rachel Hall-Clifford

Carla Jones

Labor and Work Force

Focus: To inform the AAA Executive Board, meetings staff, and membership about relevant issues related to labor and the workforce.

Lauren Hayes

Deepa Das Acevedo

Student Interests

Focus: To represent and advocate for student interests and perspectives in all areas of MPAAC work and the AAA at large.

Erin Tooher

Margaret Morley

Date Created or Revised

March 17, 2023