Tucson, Ariz. (November 20, 2023)—The Board of Directors and Staff of Archaeology Southwest are delighted to announce that Dr. Stephen E. (Steve) Nash will be the organization’s next President & CEO. Founder and current CEO William H. (Bill) Doelle will be retiring in January 2024 after 35 years with the Tucson-based nonprofit.
Dr. Nash returns to Tucson, where he received his doctorate in Anthropology at the University of Arizona in 1997, from the Denver area, where he has served in a number of senior leadership roles at the Denver Museum of Nature & Science (DMNS) since 2006. At DMNS, Nash led significant collaborative projects to return belongings to Indigenous North American communities and Indigenous peoples internationally. Born and raised in Chicago, he returned there for a postdoctoral position at the Field Museum in 1997 and subsequently served as Head of Collections for the museum’s Department of Anthropology from 1999 to 2006. His archaeological research includes dendrochronology (tree-ring dating) in the American Southwest and fieldwork at Indigenous heritage sites in the highlands of west-central New Mexico and east-central Arizona.
“Steve immediately rose to the top of our nationwide search for a new CEO,” said Board Chair Dan Kimball. “His credentials are exceptional, of course, but what impressed us most were his intrinsic grasp of and fundamental alignment with Archaeology Southwest’s values, mission, and vision, as well as how to build on those going forward. Bill, others on the Board and Staff, and I agree that Steve’s sincerity, enthusiasm, and quick sense of humor make him a great fit with our Archaeology Southwest team.”
Nash is a gifted communicator and successful fundraiser who has won numerous awards and served on a variety of distinguished professional committees. Across his career, he has raised more than $34,000,000 from private and federal sources for projects ranging from research to institutional growth. Since 2015, Steve has written “Curiosities,” a regular column on anthropological topics for SAPIENS, a digital magazine about the study of humanity aimed at general readers. Many of his essays have been republished in popular media, including Discover Magazine, Nautilus, and Atlas Obscura.
“I have been a keen observer of Archaeology Southwest’s work for more than a quarter century—I even told Bill some 15 years ago that I would love to work there someday!” said Nash. “Archaeology Southwest has long been at the forefront of conserving cultural landscapes, collaborating with Tribes, and sharing the sheer joy of learning more about humanity and the places and belongings that help tell all our stories. It has been a thrill to see as a longtime supporter, and now I get to be in on the action.”
In addition to formal leadership training and decades of on-the-job experience, Nash brings fresh and fun insight into how teams can work together better and pursue training in unusual ways. He encourages following his example of honing public-speaking skills by training in stand-up comedy, for instance. Among the first steps Nash plans to take as President & CEO is a robust listening tour that will feed into a shared and systematic strengths-based analysis to help the organization come to common agreement about what and how Archaeology Southwest does well and where opportunities lie.
“Since we incorporated in 1989, I have guided the growth and development of a creative nonprofit that has achieved significant impacts in research, public outreach, and heritage preservation,” said Doelle. “Steve will find a willing and engaged Staff and Board ready to embrace his energy and vision for advancing our mission. I move into my new role as volunteer and donor with great confidence and satisfaction. I know our public, academic, government, and Tribal partners will join me in welcoming Steve as the next leader of Archaeology Southwest.”
About Archaeology Southwest
Founded in 1989, Archaeology Southwest is a private 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization based in Tucson, Arizona, on the homelands of the Tohono O’odham Nation and the Pascua Yaqui Tribe. We are privileged to work across the US Southwest and into northwestern Mexico on the Lands and Territories of many Indigenous Tribes and descendant communities.
We are committed to real and ongoing collaboration with Tribes in all areas of our work. Our vision is that heritage places, ancestral landscapes, and associated knowledge and values are stewarded, protected, respected, and celebrated across the US and the world.
Learn more at archaeologysouthwest.org.
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For Immediate Release
November 20, 2023
Content & Communications Director