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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 #4: Jill Koyama and Sarah Ono.
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.
I study public policy as a field of activity, offering a cultural analysis that captures the complexity of policy processes. These ethnographic investigations are situated across three strands of inquiry. They are: the productive social assemblages of policy and practices; the controversies of globalizing policy; and the politics of language and newcomer policy. My research focus has moved from policy explicitly created to influence schooling, to the macroeconomic regulations and transnational maneuverings, such as immigration policy, that continue to impact the inequities in education and society.
I am also committed to bringing anthropological perspectives to bear on public policy dialogues. In 2013, at a conference entitled “The Future of Anthropology and Education” at Teachers College, I spoke about this commitment. In addition, I am utilizing social and popular media to reach a broader audience. Recently, an OpEd, based on my three-year study of refugees, was published in The Huffington Post. Follow me on Twitter @Koyamawonders.
A member of AAA, and the Council on Anthropology and Education (CAE) since 2003, I have recently joined the newly-formed Association for Anthropology of Policy (ASAP). I am also an associate editor of Anthropology and Education Quarterly (AEQ), the journal of CAE.
If working for the federal government has taught me one thing, it is that there are drawbacks to working in silos. When I joined the VA, the pervasive reference to “silos” was a relatively foreign concept, with my strongest association being the skyline in rural America. As anthropologists I hope that we bring the holism of our methodology to our professional practice and I see CoPP as a way to support this. I value anthropology and anthropologists. We do something unique, important, and potentially powerful. Where we fall short is when we fail to engage outside of our discipline in open-minded and open-hearted ways – whatever these may prove to be. In 2011, I began co-editing a monthly column for Anthropology News, “Anthropology in the Public Sector”, as a way to strengthen connections between working as a public servant and maintaining my involvement with colleagues on theoretical and professional issues. I am invested in being an anthropologist, I am interested in serving my professional community, and I have seen how policy development is a dynamic process. If the counter to silos is bridges, then I aspire to be a bridge builder and CoPP Undesignated Seat #4 is a good place to start. Thank you for your consideration and your support.
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