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Committee on Public Policy Mission

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The EB believes the Committee on Public Policy (COPP) has, during its time as an elected AAA committee, helped to communicate to the AAA membership and beyond the importance of contributions by anthropologists to public policy, including research, intervention, and the employment of anthropologists in institutions that focus on policy-related issues. One of the measures of this success is the organization and stunning growth of the AAA Interest Group for the Anthropology of Public Policy (IGAPP), the emergence of policy-centered bodies in a number of sections, and the activities undertaken by the Public Affairs Office of AAA. The EB affirms its continuing support for COPP and its expectation that the Committee will continue to lead the AAA in shaping the Association’s and its members' involvement within the broad domain of public policy. At the same time, the EB recognizes that the expansion of policy-related activity within other AAA units has led to the need to rethink the role of COPP and to revise its charter statement in order to avoid potential redundancy in objectives and activities and to enhance its effectiveness.

COPP and IGAPP have developed complementary roles, such that the former focuses on public policy interventions while the latter centers on anthropological research on public policy. In spite of its growing membership, IGAPP, as an interest group, has a very different mission than COPP, which forms part of the AAA leadership. Similarly, sections that have organized policy-centered committees or other entities draw on their strengths in particular areas, such as health policy in the case of the Society for Medical Anthropology Policy Committee. The Public Affairs Office plays a number of important roles, which mainly center on creating professional training activities to enable anthropologists to gain skills helpful in making policy interventions and in supporting the work of COPP, IGAPP, sections, and other units. Thus, a number of vital functions remain for COPP.

Additional Items for COPP:
In addition, the EB would like to offer a number of suggestions regarding activities that might be undertaken by COPP, by way of complementing its past and on-going efforts:

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