Deborah Bekken is the Director of Government Affairs and Sponsored Programs for The Field Museum. She is responsible for coordinating all outgoing proposals to federal, state, and local government agencies. Deborah works in concert with area vice presidents to develop and implement funding strategies for the Museum, and she assists in positioning the Field Museum as a unique institution worthy of national and international support. She initiates and maintains contacts with elected and appointed public officials, the consular corps, and international visitors, and she works to identify new opportunities for supporting Museum programs and special projects.
Deborah is also an Adjunct Curator in the Anthropology department. Her research interests include zooarchaeology and hominid evolution in East Asia. She is currently engaged in research on late Neolithic sites in eastern China.
Prior to joining The Field Museum, Deborah was visiting assistant professor of Anthropology at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She also served on the staff of the University of Illinois Museum of Natural History, where she was responsible for renovation of several of the UIMNH research collections. She has also served as Associate Editor for the Journal of Paleontology and as Co-Editor for Asian Perspectives, during which time she coordinated efforts to revise editorial standards (JP), to implement electronic manuscript processing (JP), and to encourage broader international participation (AP). Deborah received a B.A. in zoology and anthropology from the University of Montana, and a M.A. and Ph.D. in Anthropology from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.