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Governing Council Today: Pam Puntenney, Member-at-Large

Hi, I’m Pam Puntenney and Chair of NAPA’s Lourdes Arizpe Award, a high profile initiative integrating external and internal engagement of our community of anthropologists. NAPA has created this award as an opportunity to recognize recent outstanding achievement in the application of anthropology to problems of global concern and discourse in international or domestic arenas across all sustainable systems issues and policy-making applications.  The creation and naming of this award highlights the critical need for anthropological knowledge and perspective in addressing current issues with larger implications for matters of global concern.  The Award is designed for two categories: 1) Professional and 2) Student.  As we continue to finalize the details, we welcome your support.

I am the founder and CEO of Environmental & Human Systems Management, working with senior level decision makers on the human dimensions of global environmental issues, policy-making and practice.  I also direct the United Nations Sustainable Development Education Caucus and serve as head of delegation to the UN climate change meetings.

As an example of this work’s influence in the international arena, the following is an excerpt from our policy briefing that was used last month as a directive to UN delegates regarding their recommendations for a framework for future UN sustainability initiatives. The challenges we face globally demand 21st century approaches and models throughout this global transition: “[It is important to] not ‘get stuck’ in 19th and 20th century issues, but to keep 21st century issues on the [action-oriented] agenda.” This is a paraphrase of our intervention that continues to shift the debate toward multi-stakeholder, intergenerational platforms that engage people in creating sustainable societies instead of top-down strategic actions.


I look forward to meeting you and welcome working with NAPA to create this special Award.

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