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FPAN welcomes Dr. Mary Furlong Minkoff, executive director

August 31, 2013 | Brandy Gottlieb |

Dr. Mary Furlong Minkoff is FPAN's new executive director.

Florida Public Archaeology Network welcomes Dr. Mary Furlong Minkoff as the organization’s new executive director. 

FPAN is a statewide organization that promotes and facilitates the stewardship, public appreciation and value of Florida’s archaeological heritage through regional centers, partnerships and community engagement. 

Minkoff says she looks forward to continuing FPAN’s mission. She says her first goal is to continue the work FPAN has done for nearly 20 years. She says, “I want us to embrace our roles as public servants in order to show how archaeology can be used to support the needs of all Floridians.” Minkoff says this will be done through traditional archaeological activities as well as programs that provide Floridians with job skills, educational opportunities and the resources to preserve and protect their communities' histories and heritage sites. “Building partnerships will be a key component of this work,” Minkoff states. 

“I want us to embrace our roles as public servants in order to show how archaeology can be used to support the needs of all Floridians.” - Dr. Mary Furlong Minkoff 

Prior to assuming the role of executive director, Minkoff served as the assistant director of archaeology and curator of archaeological collections for James Madison’s Montpelier. She also served as the interim director of the University of Maryland’s cultural heritage resource management graduate program. 

As a public archaeologist, Minkoff has focused her work in historic archaeology, public archaeology, sensory archaeology and community outreach. Her research areas have included African American archaeology, Civil War archaeology, Spanish Colonial archaeology, urban archaeology, Southeastern archaeology and Mid-Atlantic archaeology.

Of her new role with FPAN, Minkoff says she sits in a unique position to make meaningful contributions to FPAN. In 2008, Minkoff received an M.A. in historical archaeology from UWF. During her time as an Argo, Minkoff served as FPAN’s first intern and outreach coordinator in the Northwest Regional office. Minkoff said that during her time, she had the ability to be part of the conversations and programs that has continued to define FPAN’s work. 

Since her previous roles at FPAN, Minkoff received a Ph.D. in anthropology from the University of Maryland. She says she has learned from public archaeologists working in other parts of the country. 

Through her work at the Montpelier Foundation, Minkoff developed skills and broadened her understanding of how archaeology can be used to empower communities to tell their own histories. She curated cutting-edge exhibitions and worked closely with descendant community members to develop a more holistic understanding of the past. She created one of a kind hands-on archaeology programs that changed the way people understood and interacted with the past. 

Of her return to FPAN, Minkoff says, “I am incredibly excited to be back in my home state of Florida and working at FPAN. I believe it is important to give back to the people, places, and communities that helped you achieve your goals. From my earliest days as an elementary school student in Seminole county through my master's program at UWF, learning about Florida's unique past shaped my understanding of our country as a whole. The diversity of this state and its past should be celebrated. I believe that archaeology and FPAN are in a unique position to do this by showing through artifacts, homesites, cemeteries, shipwrecks, and all the other amazing resources the contributions every day people have made to creating and shaping this state.” 

To learn more about FPAN, visit