Dr. Bolortsetseg Minjin Stepping Down as ACMS Executive Director
Dr. Bolortsetseg (Bolor) Minjin, ACMS Executive Director since the fall of 2020, will be departing her current role as of October 31, 2023 so that she can focus on her non-profit, the Institute for the Study of Mongolian Dinosaurs (ISMD), which is spearheading the creation of a community-centered paleontology museum at the world-renowned Flaming Cliffs in southern Mongolia. Bolor plans to stay engaged with ACMS in an advisory capacity as it launches its new Strategic Plan and develops new programs and partnerships.
Bolor started with the ACMS at the height of the Covid-19 pandemic, which restricted opportunities for travel and in-person events. In response, she helped develop enhanced online programming, including expanding the number of ACMS lectures archived and available on YouTube, and several online courses, discussion panels and workshops. Under her direction, ACMS became, for the first time, a truly bi-lingual organization as Speaker Series events began to be held in both the Mongolian and English languages, and all the lectures were sub-titled in both languages. The audience for ACMS events expanded greatly, in particular in Mongolia, where language barriers often prevent local audiences from accessing international academic presentations and research. This dramatically increased the visibility of ACMS within Mongolia, leading to the engagement of more than 50 Mongolian institutions in ACMS events. These efforts have fostered many new collaborations between US and Mongolian researchers.
Bolor has been instrumental in several ACMS initiatives, including the Cultural Heritage Program (CHP), North American Mongolian Studies Library Consortium (NAMSLC) and the Ambassadors Fund for Cultural Heritage project “Conserving and Preserving Mongolia’s Endangered Textile Traditions and Collections” . Through the CHP, ACMS led and organized discussions on cultural heritage and museum topics followed by expert lectures and hands-on workshops. Most importantly, Bolor added a new component to CHP; each year one collaboration between ACMS fellows and Mongolian collaborators is featured in a public exhibit, the first in 2023 was on Dairy Culture. The NAMSLC, a program started during her tenure, has been scanning and archiving books and notes of key Mongolian Studies scholars as well as funding a library fellow to upgrade the online presence of the ACMS library.
While at the ACMS she remained engaged in paleontological research, fossil repatriation, and educational outreach to Mongolian K-12 students. Her project to build a new paleontological museum and education center at the Flaming Cliffs in Mongolia has gained momentum and is entering a key stage of planning and development.
The ACMS wants to thank Bolor for her years of dedication to the organization and her support for research and education related to Mongolia. Bolor has played a key role in helping Mongolia protect its rich cultural and natural heritage, and in helping to educate people outside Mongolia about the many opportunities for research in Mongolia and for collaboration with Mongolian scholars. As a small gift of appreciation, the President of the ACMS, Bill Fitzhugh, will present Bolor with a Native American southwestern Nampeyo pot that honors her work to support shared knowledge and collaborations across cultures. We wish Bolor well in all her endeavors and to continuing collaborations in the future.