Washington Association of
Professional Anthropologists

Welcome to WAPA

The Washington Association of Professional Anthropologists (WAPA) is the oldest and largest regional association of professional anthropologists in the world today. Founded in 1976, WAPA serves as a resource, and a social and career development center for anthropologists seeking to apply their knowledge and skills to practical problems for the betterment of society.

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The Society for Applied Anthropology (SfAA) invites abstracts (sessions, papers and posters) for the Program of the 75th Annual Meeting in Pittsburgh, PA, March 24-28, 2015.  The theme of the Program is “Continuity and Change.”
The Society is a multi-disciplinary association that focuses on problem definition and resolution.  We welcome papers from all disciplines.  The deadline for abstract submission is October 15, 2014.  For additional information on the theme, abstract size/format, and the meeting, please click here visit the meeting web page.

Posted 9 June 2014

NAPA Career Profiles

Updated 6 August 2014

Mary Odell Butler

Mary Odell Butler received her PhD in anthropology from Temple University in 1978 and has spent the last three decades conducting program evaluations through contracting firms for clients in public health. Though she initially struggled to find work outside the academy, Butler has built a strong career supporting programs at agencies that include the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Environmental Protection Agency, and the National Cancer Institute.

John P. Mason

John P. Mason, a former president of the Washington Association of Professional Anthropologists (WAPA), has crossed the many borders that define professional anthropology, including university teaching, an international organization, and NGO and for-profit private sector international development. He has traversed these borders, back and forth between academia and applied international work.

Jen Cardew Kersey

Jen Cardew Kersey is a former graduate of the University of North Texas, where she received her MA in Applied Anthropology. Working her way into a global advertising agency, Jen now has over six years of experience in design and strategy research.

Jenny Masur

Jenny Masur (WAPA member) has dedicated over two decades of service to the National Park Service (NPS), a career trajectory she did not anticipate while in the academy. In the latest NAPA Career Profile, Jenny Masur discusses her long career at the National Park Service and the path she took to get there.

Previous NAPA Profiles

Bryan Dennis

Karen Greenough

Timothy de Waal Malefyt

Ted (Edward C.) Green (WAPA member)

What Do We Mean By Public Anthropology? by WAPA member Gretchen Schafft

In keeping with the 2013 Annual Meeting theme, "Future Publics, Current Engagements," CoPAPIA explores what is meant by the term “public anthropology.” CoPAPIA, which focuses on practicing, applied, and public anthropology, asked Gretchen Schafft, Public Anthropologist-in-Residence at American University, to comment on the distinctions and relationships among these various forms.  Click here to read the article.

Posted 11 March 2014

Meetings and Activities

Unless otherwise indicated in the event description, WAPA meetings are held at the Charles Sumner School, located at the intersection of 17th St NW and Rhode Island Ave NW.  Click here for directions.

Upcoming events

28 Sep 2014 1:00 PM • 2617 Silverdale Dr, Silver Spring, MD
07 Oct 2014 7:00 PM • Sumner School
20 Oct 2014 5:30 PM • TBA

Membership Information


  • Prospective membersJoin WAPA
  • Current and renewing members:  Access your profile or renew your membership


  • Post announcements, news, and activities
  • Join WAPA's Google discussion group or post a message
  • Link to WAPA on LinkedIn

(c) 2014 Washington Association of Professional Anthropologists
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