Our staff, directors, and advisers form a collaborative, international network of individuals with expertise in multiple disciplines, including archaeology, databases, multimedia, intellectual property, and cultural heritage law.


Sarah Whitcher Kansa, Executive Director

As Executive Director of the AAI, Sarah advocates for data sharing and publication in various archaeological and cultural heritage communities. She has a Ph.D. in archaeology and has spent 20 years conducting zooarchaeological research at sites primarily in the Near East and East Mediterranean. She manages on behalf of the International Council for Archaeozoology (ICAZ), where she stands on the Executive and International Committees. In 2014, she was elected Vice President of ICAZ. Sarah is a member of the Publications Committee of the Society for American Archaeology (SAA) and of the American Schools of Oriental Research (ASOR). She is also the series editor for Archaeobiology (Lockwood Press) and Executive Editor of Open Context.

Eric Kansa, Technology Director & Open Context Program Director

Eric Kansa (PhD, Harvard University) leads development of Open Context ( His research interests explore Web architecture, service design, and how these issues relate to the social and professional context of the digital humanities. Eric also researches policy issues relating to intellectual property, including text-mining and cultural property concerns. He actively participates in a number of Open Science, Open Government, cyberinfrastructure, text-mining, and scholarly user needs initiatives. He has taught and practiced project management and information service design in the UC Berkeley School of Information’s Clinic program. He has been a principal investigator and co-investigator on projects funded by the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, NEH, IMLS, Hewlett-Packard, Sunlight Foundation, Google, NSF, and the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation.


Carter Wells, Fundraising Consultant


Carter Wells recently joined the AAI as their Fundraising Consultant, providing independent advice and support to help them develop operational plans for their upcoming capital campaign. Her initial goal is to meet AAI’s fundraising targets and objectives, with preliminary work involving creation of tiered donors committed to AAI’s long-term financial growth and stability, while articulating how donor funds will be used. Ms. Wells has a Bachelors of Science degree in Finance & Economics with a Masters in Business Administration, plus recent post-graduate studies in Non-Profit Governance from Georgetown Law University. She’s been an ED of a $100M nonprofit community foundation and worked on several capital campaigns. Carter is experienced in grant writing, working across all levels of funding, and is an excellent communicator with solid budgeting and financial experience. She also applies insightful organizational, analytical and people skills.

Phoebe France, Usability Specialist & Web Designer

Phoebe France consults on usability and web design for the Alexandria Archive Institute and the Open Context project. She received her MA from the University of Chicago, where she specialized in anthropological archaeology. Her collaboration with AAI and Open Context is part of a series of projects that she has worked on since 2007 that explore the boundaries between archaeological methods and theory, new media, and information management. In addition to her work in digital media, she is currently working towards finishing her PhD in archaeology. Her research interests include Southeast Asia and Cambodia, societal collapse and sustainability, botanical analysis, long term landscape histories, and the role of archaeological ruins and interpretations of the past in nationalism, heritage politics, identity, and imagination.

Affiliates and Alumni

Francis Deblauwe, Program Developer & Content Editor

Ahrash Bissell, Field Sciences Research and Education consultant

Mhairi Campbell, Open Context Assistant Editor (Petra Great Temple project)

John Ward, Software Developer and Architect