State Department Efforts to Protect Cultural Heritage in the Middle East and North Africa

  • 03 Mar 2020
  • 7:00 PM - 9:00 PM
  • Sumner School (1201 17th St NW)


Registration is closed
Speaker:  Stephen Epstein
Date: Tuesday, 03 March 2020
Location:  Sumner School, 1201 17th St NW, Washington, DC
Time: 7:00 pm
Pre-meeting gathering:  5:30 (see details below; registration is helpful but not required)

About the talk:

I left the University of Pennsylvania Museum almost 20 year ago to join the State Department. They had no immediate use for a pre-Columbian Andean archaeometallurgist, so I became a political-military affairs officer, thinking, “Well, that could be anthropology, sort of.” And it was. Now I find I’ve come full circle. For the past three years, I’ve been working on cultural heritage protection in the Middle East and North Africa, and have been feeling more like an archaeologist again. But just as my perspective as an anthropologist carried over into my pol-mil work, I’m finding that my experience as a pol-mil officer has helped me see the national security importance of protecting cultural heritage.

Let me explain . . .

About the speaker:

Steve Epstein is a Senior Advisor in the State Department’s Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs, where he has served since 2004.

Before coming to Washington, Steve was the Associate Director of the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology. He has also taught archaeology and anthropology at the University of Pennsylvania, Rutgers University, and Rider University, and excavated in Ireland, Belize, Peru, West Texas, and New Mexico. More recently, he has begun teaching diplomacy for the University of Pennsylvania in Washington.

Concurrently, he spent 30 years in U.S. Army Reserve, retiring as a colonel with civil affairs deployments in Bosnia, Haiti, and Iraq.

He holds a PhD in anthropology from the University of Pennsylvania and is a graduate of the U.S. Army War College.

ASL interpretation: Contact Suzanne Heurtin-Roberts at least 48 hours prior to the event if you require ASL interpretation or other accommodation for this event.

Before the meeting:  Join the speakers for dinner or snacks from 5:30  - 6:45 pm at the Edgar Bar and Kitchen, Mayflower Hotel, 1127 Connecticut Ave NW, Washington, DC (3 minute walk to Sumner School).

Location:  The Sumner School is located at the corner of 17th St and M St NW.  From the Farragut North Metro Station (Red Line), exit onto L St, proceed one block east to 17th St, turn left, then head 2 blocks north.  The entrance to the meeting area is on 17th St through the double doors under the black metal stairway.  Registration is NOT required to attend the meeting, but picture ID Is required for entry to the building.

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