The National Association For The Practice of Anthropology

The National Association for the Practice of Anthropology (NAPA) is a professional organization for anthropologists who are interested in applying their knowledge and skills to real-world problems. NAPA was founded in 1968 as a section of the American Anthropological Association (AAA) to support and promote the use of anthropology in policy-making, community development, and other practical fields. The organization provides a forum for anthropologists to share their experiences and ideas and to connect with others who are interested in the application of anthropology. NAPA also works to raise awareness of the value of anthropology among policymakers and the general public.

Many NAPA members are established or are planning careers as practicing professionals linked to 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 and the use of ethnography.

Annals of Anthropological Practice

The Annals of Anthropological Practice is a peer-reviewed academic journal that focuses on the application of anthropology to real-world problems. It is published by the National Association for the Practice of Anthropology (NAPA), and it features articles, research notes, and book reviews that explore the use of anthropological theories and methods in a variety of settings, including health care, education, business, and public policy. The Annals of Anthropological Practice is a valuable resource for anthropologists and other researchers who are interested in the practical applications of anthropology.