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.

Mission Statement

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.

History of NAPA

Founded in 1983, NAPA strives to promote the practice of anthropology, both within the discipline and among private, public, and nonprofit organizations. NAPA continues to grow as anthropologists engaged in practice have developed broader professional opportunities both inside and outside the academic realm.

There are currently around 500 NAPA members, working in a diverse range of sectors and positions. Members receive NAPA’s semi-annual “Annals of Anthropological Practice,” professional mentoring, networking opportunities, and discounts on NAPA-sponsored workshops. Select the “Archives” tab above to find out even more about NAPA’s history.

Source: NAPA Website