The American Center of Mongolian Studies (ACMS) is pleased to announce that Dr. Bolortsetseg Minjin has assumed the role of Executive Director, the first Mongolian to hold this position. A geologist and paleontologist by training, she received a M.S. from the Mongolian University of Science and Technology, a Ph.D. from a joint program between the Graduate Center of City University of New York and the American Museum of Natural History (AMNH), and completed postdoctoral research at the Museum of the Rockies (Montana State University). In 2008 she established the Institute for the Study of Mongolian Dinosaurs, which supported the graduate training of Mongolian scholars and pioneered K-12 educational outreach in rural Mongolia.
Since 2012, Dr. Bolortsetseg has played a pivotal role in multinational efforts to stop the sale of poached Mongolian dinosaurs. In this work, she collaborated closely with the US Department of Homeland Security, multiple US attorney offices, and the Mongolian government. As a result, tons of unique dinosaur remains were repatriated, leading Mongolia to award Dr. Bolortsetseg the Order of the Polar Star. In 2013 she worked as the Assistant Director of the Central Museum of Mongolian Dinosaurs in Ulaanbaatar, and currently serves on the board for the Alliance of Mongolian Museums. Dr. Bolortsetseg has received an Earth Award from Wings WorldQuest, was recognized as a National Geographic Emerging Explorer in 2010, and received the Raymond M. Alf Award for Excellence in Paleontological Research and Education in 2017.
At the ACMS, Dr. Bolortsetseg will help develop collaboration between Mongolian and international scholars and institutions in all fields of study. Leveraging her extensive museum experience, she plans to build partnerships between North American and Mongolian museums, universities and other organizations to assist the development of museum collections and professional capabilities in Mongolia, particularly among people and institutions outside the capital city. She is looking forward to expanding past ACMS programs aimed at documenting and preserving Mongolia’s cultural heritage, and raising the profile of these efforts in both Mongolia and abroad. One area of focus will be to engage Mongolians who live near-threatened cultural resources to help them gain greater knowledge and engagement with their cultural and natural heritage, and become allies in the fight to prevent looting and development that threatens to destroy the artifacts and practices from Mongolia’s unique history.
Dr. Bolortsetseg is looking forward to supporting current ACMS programs such as the Field Research and other Fellowships, Mongolian Field School, Speaker Series, educational tours, and workshops, and to develop new programs and partnerships that expand the reach of Mongolian Studies. She will be primarily based at the AMNH in New York City, but will travel regularly to Mongolia to work in the ACMS office in Ulaanbaatar once the country reopens for travel. She is very excited to connect with old and new friends who have ideas for potential collaborations, and can be reached through her new ACMS contact email firstname.lastname@example.org.