This is your gateway to learning about NAPA. The resources in this section will help you to better understand the association and get more involved in NAPA.
The National Association for the Practice of Anthropology (NAPA) was founded as a section of the American Anthropological Association (AAA) in 1983 to represent practicing anthropology. Many NAPA members are established or are planning careers as practicing professionals linked into government, business, and other networks outside of the academy. Many in NAPA leadership work outside of academic settings.
NAPA strives to support the interests of practicing and applied anthropologists within the AAA. We offer many activities during the annual meetings, including sessions, workshops, a Careers Expo, instant mentoring, and networking events.
In addition, NAPA has a mentoring program, publishes a journal (Annals of Anthropological Practice) and a newsletter (NAPA Notes), and coordinates several social media outlets.
NAPA members work in a diverse range of positions and sectors, including all levels of federal, state, local, and tribal governments; the nonprofit world (from local organizations to international nongovernmental organizations); and the for-profit world (from small businesses to Fortune 500 corporations). Many members work as independent consultants or manage their own consulting and research firms. In addition, NAPA also has many members who are full- or part-time faculty, doing applied work and educating the next generation of practitioners.
A significant proportion of NAPA members are students, and NAPA puts significant effort into supporting students through the mentoring program and also by sponsoring an annual student paper award and other activities.
NAPA is managed by a Governing Council, which meets in person twice a year to discuss relevant topics and vote on initiatives affecting the membership. There are also several committees within NAPA, and the Governing Council includes both elected members and committee chairs.
Along with NAPA, you may know about the Society for Applied Anthropology (SfAA). Although we both address applied anthropology and have a great deal of overlap in our memberships, we don’t do quite the same thing. We are different organizations with different purposes and missions. NAPA and SfAA collaborate on some training and information exchange initiatives, but each offers its own publications and annual meeting opportunities. Being a member of both organizations gives you multiple benefits.
NAPA promotes human-centered work applied to practical problems by linking a network of professional anthropologists working across employment sectors. We support all anthropologists in bringing real solutions to communities, organizations, and policymakers, by offering advocacy, information, networks, mentoring, and continuing education.
The purpose of NAPA shall be to represent the practice of anthropology and the interests of practicing anthropologists within the American Anthropological Association, as well as other organizations and the general public, and to further the practice of anthropology as a profession.
The Governing Council is composed of both elected positions and committee chairs, although only the elected positions can vote on matters of NAPA governance and policy. These dedicated individuals are the backbone of NAPA, helping to ensure that association business and activities are managed efficiently and effectively.
Student Representative (2020-2022):
Editor: Annals of Anthropological Practice
See brief Committee Descriptions
Communications (see committee page):
Ethics (see committee page):
Membership (see committee page):
Mentoring (see committee page):
Organizational Relations, Careers Expo (see committee page):
OT Interest Group and OT Field School:
Workshops (see committee page):
Semi-annual Committee Reports
Committee reports are presented by their respective chairs twice a year at the Governing Council meetings. Select the “Archives” tab above to review past reports.
Special Interest Groups/Topical Interest Groups
NAPA supports the development of Special Interest Groups (SIGs) or Topical Interest Groups (TIGs) within the community of anthropological practice.
NAPA Expense Reimbursement